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doctors' commons 

1 andMomiments 

of ilitse latter an"a ptrdlous tJatics, 
■ touci)ing matters of xl)t €\)nxt\), 

• wherein are comprehended and described 

the great persecutions & horrible troubles 

that haue bene wrousht and practised b> 

the Rcmishe Prelates, speciallye in this 

Realme of England and Scotlande, 

from the yeare of our Lorde a 

thousande, unto the tyme 

nowe present. 

Gathered and collected according to the 

true copies and w-rrtingres certificatorie as wel 

of the parties thetnselues that suffered, 

as also out of the Bishops Regpsters, 

which wer the doers therof, 

bv John Foxe. 


thp: acts and monuments 
of john foxe: 








OF queen's college, CAMBRIDGE, 









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1377. Richard II 3 

Articles collected out of Wickliff's Sermons 4 

1378. Bull of Pope Gregory to the Chancellor and University of 

Oxford 5 

Epistle of Pope Gregory to Richard, King of England, to 

persecute John WicldifF 7 

The Conclusions of John WicklifF exhibited at a Convocation 

of Bishops at Lambeth 10 

The Protestation of John WickliiF 12 

An Exposition upon the Conclusions of John WicklifF ... 13 
1382. Mandate of Archbishop Courtney respecting Heresy ... 20 

Articles of John Wickliff, some condemned as heretical, 

others as erroneous 21 

A Letter of Archbishop Courtney to the Bishop of London 

against John WicldifF and his adherents 22 

Determinations upon the Articles of Wickliff .... 24 
A Letter of Archbishop Courtney to the Chancellor of Oxford 

against Wickliff and his adherents ibid. 

The Monition of Archbishop Courtney to the Chancellor of 

Oxford 26 

The Examination of Nicholas Herford, Philip Reppington, and 

John Ashton ibid. 

The Protestation of Herford, Reppington, and Ashton ... 28 
Further Examinations and Proceedings against Herford, Rep- 
pington and Ashton 29 

Process of Archbishop Courtney against John Ashton ... 31 

The Sentence pronounced on John Ashton 32 

The Sentence of Excommunication passed upon Herford and 

Reppington, with the Citation against them 34 

A Private Statute made by the Clergy without the consent of 

the Commons ; \vith the Examination of it by the Author . 36 
An Extract from the Petition of the Commons for repealing the 

aforesaid Statute 37 



A.D. . . ^-AGE 

1 382. The King's Letters-patent to the Archbishop against the Fa- 

vourers of WickhfF ibid. 

The Kinsr's Letter to the Vice-chancellor and Proctors of 

Oxford^ 38 

Matters incident to Robert Rigges, Vice-chancellor of Oxford, 

Herford, Reppington and others 40 

"" Another Letter of the King to the Vice-chancellor of Oxford . 43 
A Letter of Robert Rigges, Vice-chancellor of Oxford, to the 

Archbishop 45 

Abjuration of Philip Reppington 46 

A cruel Letter of the Archbishop against Herford .... 47 

An Epistle of John Wickliff to Pope Urban VI 49 

1383. Pope Urban 's Bull to destroy Clement the Antipope . ... 51 
Form of the Pope's Absolution pronounced by the Bishop . . ibid. 

1384. The substance of John Wickliff 's Answer to the King, touch- 

ing the right and title of the King and the Pope .... 54 
The Public Testimony given by the University of Oxford, for 

John Wickliff 57 

The Testimony of John Huss touching John Wickliff ... 58 
The Sentence of the Council of Constance in condemnation of 
the Doctrine and Fortj'-five Articles of Wickliff .... GO 

Certain other Articles of AVickliff 61 

Articles against Wickliff attested by William Woodford . . 63 
The Public Defence of certain Articles of John Wickliff, be- 
fore the whole University of Prague. On the Thirteenth 

and Fifteenth Articles ; by John Huss 64 

The Second Disputation, in the University of Prague, upon the 

Seventeenth Article of John Wickliff; by John Huss . . 77 
Hildegard's Prophecy respecting Friars and Monks .... 87 
The Third Disputation, upon the Eighteenth Article of 

Wickliff; by John Huss 88 

The Substance of the Decree of the Council of Constance for 
the taking up of the Bones of John Wickliff . . • . . 94 

1389. The Story of William Swinderby 107 

The Revocation of Swinderby 108 

1391. The Process of John Tresnaut, Bishop of Hereford, against 

Swinderby, in the cause of Heretical Pravity 109 

Matters articulated against Swinderby 110 

The Protestation of Swinderby to the Bishop of Hereford, in 

the same old English wherein he wrote it 112 

The Citation of William Swinderby 120 

The Sentence against Swinderby 126 

His Appeal from the Sentence of the Bishop to the King . . ibid. 
Swinderby's fruitful Letter sent to the Nobles and Bm-gesses 

of the Parliament 128 

The Story and Process against Walter Brute, a Briton . . . 131 
Articles and Instruments denounced against him .... 132 
Certain Exhibits of Walter Bi-ute in writing presented to the 

Bishop, for his Defence 136 

A more ample Tractation of the same matter 139 

The Judgment and Belief of Walter Brute, touching the Lord's 

Supper, the Order of Priests, &c 173 

Walter Bra te, on the Order and Office of Prayer 179 

Copy of a Letter from a Lollard to Master Nicholas Herford . 188 
The Device of a Letter, feigned under the name of Lucifer, 

Prince of Darkness, written to the proud and persecuting 

Prelates of the Popish Clergy 190 

Bull of Pope Boniface to the I3ishop of Hereford against the 

Lollards 193 

The Tenor of the Pope's Bull to King Richard 194 

The King's Commission 195 

1392. Letter of the King against Walter Brute 196 



1394. Letters of Archbishop Courtney respecting the An-est of eight 

Lollards, and the Re-admission of Margaret Caily, a nun, into 

the Monastery of St. Kadegond 199 

Letter of the Archbishop, enjoining Penance of certain good 
Persons of Leicester 200 

1395. The Book of Conclusions and Reformations, exhibited in the 

Parliament holden at London, and set up at Paul's door and 

other places, a. d. 1395 203 

Letter of Richard IL to Pope Boniface IX 207 

1398. Notes of Parliaments, holden in the reign of King Richard IL, 

making against the Pope 213 

1399. Henry IV 221 

1400. Sir William Sautre, otherwise called Chatris, parish priest, a 

Martyr ibid. 

Sir William's First and Second Examination 222 

Process against him ; his Recantation, &c 225 

Sentence of Degi-adation pronounced upon him 227 

The cruel Decree against William Sautre 228 

1401. Articles against King Henry IV. set upon Church-doors . . 230 

1409. John Badby, artificer, a Martyi- 235 

Sentence of the Bishop of Worcester against him, with the 

attestation of the Notaries 236 

The cruel Statute ' Ex Officio" 239 

The cruel Constitution of Archbishop Arundel, against the 

Gospellers, or followers of God's Tnith 242 

Articles of divers who were constrained to abjure .... 248 

William Thorpe : that constant servant of God 249 

The Preface of William Thorpe followed by his Examination, 

penned with his own hand 250 

The Testament of William Thoi-pe 282 

The Story of John Purvey 285 

Articles which he recanted, with other Articles drawn out of 

his books by Richard Lavingham 286 

A Sermon no lesse godly than learned, preached at Paules 

Crosse on the Sunday of Quinquagesima, anno 1389, by 

R. Wimbeldon 292 

Letters of King Henry IV. to Pope Gregory XII 308 

Letter of King Henry IV. to the Cardinals 309 

1410. A Mandate of Archbishop Arundel to the Bishop of London, to 

warn men to say certain Prayers at the tolling of the ' Aves' 

or ringing of Curfew 311 

A Commission from the same, to suspend ceitain Churches of 
London, because they rung not their bells at the presence of 
my Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, with other Letters on 
the same subject 313 

An Injunction of Penance, fi-om the Register of William 
Comtney, Archbishop of Canterbury 315 

Notes of Parliament Matters in the days of King Henry IV. 316 

1413. Henry V 319 

The Trouble and Persecution of the most valiant and worthy 
Martyr of Christ, Sir John Oldcastle, knight. Lord Cobham. 320 

The Christian Belief of Lord Cobham 324 

The Examinations of Loixl Cobham, &c 326 

The definitive Sentence of his Condemnation 336 

A Testimonial made by his Friends 338 

An Abjuration counterfeited by the Bishops 339 

Copy of an Epistle of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the 
Bishop of London, whereon dependeth the ground and cer- 
tainty of the aforesaid history of the Lord Cobham . . . 342 
The Catholic Faith and Confession of Lord Cobham . . . 344 
The definitive Sentence of Lord Cobham's Condemnation . 347 



1413. A Defence of Lord Cobham against Nicliolas Harpsfield, set 

out under the name of Alanus Copus Anglus 348 

The Words and Contents of the Statute made in the second 

year of Henry V., chapter seventh ; with Notes by the 

Author 353 

The Indictment of the Lord Cobham, Sir Roger Acton, and 

others, with Notes following upon the same 36S 

1414. The Entry of the memorable History of the Bohemians, con- 

taining the History of Master John Huss, no less famous 
than lamentable : wherein is set out at large the whole order 
of his coming unto the Council of Constance, with the Acts 
and Process against him there ; and, finally, his most cruel 
Death and Martyrdom, for the testimony of the ti-uth of our 

Lord Jesus Christ " 405 

Articles drawn out by John Huss and his adherents . . . 409 
Objections of John Huss and his party against the Decree of 

the Doctors .411 

Substance of the Answer of the Catholic Doctors to the fore- 
going objections 412 

Letter of Pope John to King Wenceslaus 415 

The Council of Constance 416 

Recapitidation of matters done in each Session of the Council. 418 
The Safe-conduct given to Master John Huss ; and his Letters. 424 
The Testimonial of the good Bishop of Nazareth ..... 427 
An Instrument of Recognition or Protestation of the Lord In- 
quisitor of Heresies ibid. 

An Instrument of Testimonial, how Master John Huss and his 
Procm-er were denied entrance into the Public Procuration, 
celebrated and holden in the Archbishop's Court .... 430 
The Copy of the Letters which John Huss set up in the com- 
mon places of the Cities which he passed through, going to 
the Council 431 

1415. Articles presented unto Pope John XXIII., for the Condem- 

nation of Master John Huss after he was newly imprisoned. 436 
The first Schedule or Bill, which the Nobles of Bohemia de- 
livered up to the Council for the Deliverance of John Huss, 

the fourteenth day of May, A. D. 1415 440 

Answer of the Bishop of Luthonis, to the last part of the Sup- 
plication which the Nobles of Bohemia presented unto the 

Council 441 

Answer of the Nobles of Bohemia 442 

Copy of a Public Testimonial of the whole University of Prague 

for John Huss, offered up to the Council 444 

Another Supplication of the Nobles of Bohemia for John Huss. 446 
The Protestation of John Huss, and the Answer of the Council. 447 
Supplication of the Barons to the Emperor Sigismund for John 

Huss 449 

The Answer of John Huss to Twenty-six Articles concerning 

his Book of the Church 459 

The Copy and Tenor of the Appeal of John Huss .... 467 
Seven Articles said to be di'awn out of the Treatise which John 

Huss wrote against Stephen Paletz 468 

Six Articles drawn out of the Treatise of John Huss, wiitten 

against Stanislaus de Znoyma 471 

Other Nineteen Articles objected against John Huss, he being 

in Prison • 473 

Second Series of Nineteen Articles formally contained in or 
picked, by the Parisians, out of the Treatise of John Huss of 
Prague, which he entitled " Of the Church," following in 
this part or behalf, the errors, as they term them, of John 

Wickliff 478 

Reasons and Determinations of the Masters of Paris . . . 479 



1416. Oration of the Emperor Sigismund, addressed to the Council . 484 
The Sermon of the Bishop of Londe, befoi-e the Sentence was 

given upon John Huss 486 

The Sentence or Judgment of the Council of Constance against 

John Huss 489 

The Letter of the Emperor Sigismund to the Nobles of Bo- 
hemia ■ 495 

A Letter of John Huss to his Friends in Bohemia .... 496 
A Letter of the Lord John de Clum, concerning the Safe-con- 
duct of John Huss ibid. 

Epistles and Letters of John Huss 497 

A Letter of a Scholar of WicklLff to John Huss and the Bohe- 
mians : dated from London 506 

Other Letters of John Huss 507 

The Consolation of Master Jerome to Master Huss .... 510 
The tragical and lamentable History of the famous learned 
man and godly martp- of Christ, Master Jerome of Prague: 
bm-ned at Constance for like cause and quarrel as was Mas- 
ter John Huss 511 

The Intimation of Jerome of Prague, set up in divers places of 

the town of Constance 513 

The Citation of Jerome to the Council of Constance .... ibid. 
The forced Abjuration of Master Jerome of Prague . . . .517 

The Sentence read against Jerome 523 

The Letter of the Fifty-four Nobles of Moravia, written unto 
the Council of Constance in defence of Master John Huss 
and Master Jerome of Prague : with their names annexed . 526 
The History of John Claydon, currier ; and of Richard Tunn- 
ing, baker 531 

Articles contained in an English Book called " The Lanthorn 

of Light " 532 

Proclamation of Archbishop Chichesley against the Lollards . 534 
The Trouble of John Barton and Robert Chapel, for Religion . 535 

Articles obtruded upon Chapel to confess 536 

Recantation of Thomas Granter 539 

1417. The Second Apprehension of the Lord Cobham 541 

1418. In D. Johan. Cobhami equitis aurati et martyris cineres, car- 

men J. F. in felicem memoriam 544 

Continuation of the memorable History of the Bohemians ; 
Avherein is plainly and truly set forth, what vexations and 
conflicts they had for the religion of John Huss and Jerome 
of Prague, and of their Victories obtained and gotten, both 
against the Papists, and also against the Emperor Sigis- 
mund: and, finally, the Death of their valiant Captain 

Zisca 545 

Articles decreed in the Council of Constance, against the Bo- 
hemians ibid. 

1419. The Story of Zisca 548 

1422. A Notable Oration of Zisca to his Soldiers 555 

The Epitaph of John Zisca, the valiant Captain of the Bohe- 
mians 556 

The Bull of Pope Martin directed forth against the Followers 
of John Wickliff in England, of John Huss of Bohemia, and 

of Jerome of Prague 557 

The Articles of John Huss to be inquired upon 561 

A fruitfid and christian Exhortation of the Bohemians, to Kmgs 
and Princes, to stir them up to the Zeal of the Gospel . . 567 

The Oration of Cardinal Julian 577 

The Table of the Archbishops of Canterbury 579 






1422. A Preface to the Reader 580 

Henry VI 581 

William Tailor, Priest ibid. 

1424. John Florence, a Turner 584 

Richard Belward, and others 585 

1428. Copy of the King's Letters directed to John Exeter and Jacolet 
Germain, Keeper of the Castle of Colchester, for the appre- 
hending of Sir William White, Priest, and other Lollards, 
as they called them 586 

WiUiam White, Priest 591 

Copy of the Letter of the Bishop of Norwich respecting Thomas 
Pie and Thomas Mendham 592 

John Beverly, alias Battild, a Labourer ; John Skilley of Flinton, 
Miller, and others 593 

The Story of Margery Bagster and others 594 

1430. Richard Hoveden, Martyi- 598 

1431. Nicholas Canon, of Eye 599 

Thomas Bagley, Priest ; Paul Craw, a Bohemian, Martyr . 600 
The Story of Thomas Rhedon, a Frenchman and Carmelite 

Friar, burnt in Italy for the Pi'ofession of Christ . . . .601 
1431 The Order and Manner of the Council of Basil : with a brief 

to Recapitulation of the principal Matters decreed and con- 

1439. eluded therein 605 

The Conclusions of the Disputations, and the Argument of 

Panormitane for the Pope 608 

The Answer of John Segovius 609 

The Conclusions of the Disputations, summed up by iEneas 

Sylvius 611 

The Oration of Panormitane 627 

The Oration of Ludovicus the Prothonotary 629 

The Oration of Cardinal Arelatensis, or, of Aries . . . .631 

The Oration of Amedeus, Archbishop of Lyons 640 

The Oration of Segovius . . . . , 641 

The Second Book of the Commentaries of .^neas Sylvius, upon 

the Acts of the Council of Basil 658 

The Preface of John Segovius and his associates .... 664 
The Oration in favour of Amedeus to the Popedom .... 670 
A further Continuation of the memorable History of the Bo- 
hemians ; being a bi'ief Epitome, showing how they were 
called and brought unto the Council of Basil ; briefly col- 
lected and gathered out of the Commentaries of iEneas 

Sylvius 675 

A Declaration of the Council of Basil touching the three last 

Articles of the Bohemians already alleged 682 

A Declaration of the Council touching the first Article of the 

Communion 683 

Certain Petitions which the Bohemians put up, last of all, in 

the sacred Council of Basil 688 

An Epistle of Martin Meyre to iEueas Sylvius 692 

The Copy of an Epistle of Julian, Cardinal of St. Angelo, unto 
Pope Eugene, for that he went about to dissolve the Council 

of Basil 693 

An Epistle of jEneas Sylvius to the Rector of the University 
of Cologne, in defence of the Coimcil 699 

1440. Richard Wiche, Priest, Martvr 702 



1 HO. The King's Writ prohi])iting Pilgrimages to the Tomb of 

Richard Wiche 708 

A brief Answer to the Cavillations of Alanus Copus concerning 

Lady Eleanor Cobham 704 

The Contention between the rich Cardinal of Winchester, and 
Humphrey, the good Uuke of Gloucester, with certain 

Articles objected against the Cardinal 709 

1447. The Story and Death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester . .711 

1450. The Invention and Benefit of Printing 718 

1453. The lamentable Losing of Constantinople 722 

1457. The History of Reynold Peacock, Bishop of Chichester; 
afflicted and tormented by the false Bishops for his Godli- 
ness, and Profession of the Gospel 724 

Copy of the Citation sent by Thomas Bowcher, alias Burschere, 

Archbishop of Canterbmy 732 

The Form and Manner of the Retractation of Reynold Peacock. 733 
Sentences or Proverbs attributed unto Pope Pius IL, &c. . . 736 
The Title of the House of York to the Crown of England . . 740 

1461. Edward IV 742 

1473. Albei-t and Frederic III., Emperors of Germany 762 

The Large Dominions of Ladislaus 767 

1477. John the Neatherd, of Franconia, a martyr; and Doctor Jo- 
hannes de Wesalia 775 

1483. Edward V 782 

Ricliard II., the Usurper 785 


Exhumation of Wickliff P^ge 9(> 

Burning of Badby 238 

Injunction of Penance ... 314 

Burning of Lord Cobham 542 










After king Edward HI., succeeded his grandson, Richard II. Richard 
being yet but young, of the age of eleven years : who, in the same ^^' 
year of his father's decease, with great pomp and solemnity was A. D. 
crowned at Westminster, a.u. 1377, and following his father's steps, 1377. 
was no great disfavourer of the way and doctrine of WicklifF: albeit, 
at the first beginning, partly through the iniquity of the times, and 
partly through the pope's letters, he could not do what he would. 
Notwithstanding, something he did in that behalf; more perhaps 
than in the end he had thanks for from the papists, as more, by the 
grace of Christ, shall appear. But as times do change, so changeth 
commonly the cause and state of man. The bishops now seeing the 
aged king to be taken away, during the time of whose old age all the 
government of the realm depended upon the duke of Lancaster ; and 
now the said bishops again seeing the said duke, with the lord Percy, 
the lord marshal, to give over their offices, and to remain in their 
private houses without intermeddling, thought now the time to serve 
them, to have some advantage, against John WicklifF; who hitherto, 
under the protection of the aforesaid duke and lord marshal, had some 
rest and quiet. Concerning the story of this WicklifF, I trust, gentle 
reader, it is not out of thy memory what went before, (vol. ii. p. 801), 
how he being brought before the bishops, by the means of the duke 
and of lord Henry Percy, the council was interrupted, and broke up 
before nine of the clock, by reason whereof WicklifF at that time 
escaped, without any further trouble ; who, notwithstanding his being 
by the bishops forbidden to deal in that doctrine any more, continued 

(1) Latin Edition 1559, p. 3. Ed. 1563, p. 83. Ed. r.570, p. ,529. Ed. 1576, p. 425. Ed. 1583, 
p. 430. Ed. 1596, p. 396. Ed. 1684, vol. 1. p. 490.— Eu. 

4 WirKI.Il'l' S AliTlCI.l'.S. TlIK I'Ul'i; b bill sent to OXFORL*. 

Richard g^-]| ^^.j^i^ j^jg fpJiQ^yg going barefoot, ^nd in long frieze gowns, preacli- 

ing diligently unto the people. Out of his seraions these articles most 

^•i^ chiefly at that time were collected. 

Articles collected out of WickliflTs Sermons. 

That the holy eucharist, after the consecration, is not the very body of Christ, 
but figuratively. 

That the church of Rome is not the head of all churches more than any other 
church is ; nor hath Peter any more power given him by Christ than any other 
apostle hath. 

Item, That the pope of Rome hath no more part in the keys of the ciunch, 
tlian hath any other within the order of priesthood. 

Item, If God bo, the lords temporal may lawfully and meritoriously take 
away their temporalties from the churchmen offending habitualiter. 

Item, If any temporal lord do know the church so oflendhig, he is bound, 
under pain of damnation, to take the temporalties from the same. 

Item, That the gospel is a rule sufficient of itself to rule the life of every 
christian man here, without any otlier rule. 

Item, That all other rules, under whose observances divers religious persons 
be governed, do add no more perfection to the gospel, than doth the white 
coloiu' to the wall. 

Item, That neither the pope, nor any other prelate of the church, ought to 
have prisons wherein to punish transgressors. 

His con- Besides these articles, divers other conclusions afterwards were 
condemn- gathered out of his writings and preachings by the bishops of Eng- 
edbythe Jand, which they sent diligently to pope Gregory XL, at Rome; 
at Rome, wlicrc the Said articles being read and perused, were condemned 

for jieretical and erroneous by three and twenty cardinals. 
wickiiff In the mean time the archbishop of Canterbury, sending forth his 
fnre'^the^ citations, as is aforesaid, called before him the said John WicklifF, in 
?T''l'" , the presence of the duke of Lancaster and lord Percy ; who, upon 

bishop of 1 . , 1 1 • -1 p 

Canter- the declaration oi the pope s letters made, bound him to silence, lor- 

^^^' bidding him to treat any more of those matters. But then, through 

the disturbance of the bishop of London, and the duke, and lord 

Percy, that matter was soon despatched, as hath been above recorded. 

And all this was done in the days and last year of king Edward IIL, 

and pope Gregory XL 

A.D.1378. Li the year following (a.d. 1378), being the first year of king 

sttflbrd'^ Richard iL, the said pope Gregory, taking his time, after the death 

brink's of king Edward, sendeth his bull' by the hands and means, peradven- 

buii. ' ture, of one master Edmund Stafford, directed unto the university of 

Oxford, rebuking them sharply, imperiously, and like a pope, for 

suffering so long the doctrine of John WicklifF to take root, and not 

plucking it up with the crooked sickle of their catholic doctrine. 

The mas- When the bull came to be delivered into their hands, by the pope's 

Oxford, niessenger aforesaid, the proctors and masters of the university, join- 

doubt ijig together in consultation, stood long in doubt, deliberating with 

wnether i ^ . i i i n • i i 

to receive themsclvcs whether to receive the pope s bull with honour, or to 
orreject p^f^gg ^^^ rcjcct it witli sliamc. 

I cannot here but laugh in my mind to behold the authors of this 

(i) Our author has fallen into an error respecting the date of this bull (, for Gregory XI. died 
on March 27, a. d. 1378, more than two months anterior to it. According to Wilkins's Concilia, all 
these bulls were dated June 11, 1377 ; tbey did not reach England till the November following, and 
in the mean time, on June 21, in the same year, king Edward III. died. Richard assembled his first 
parliament on the 13th of October, 1378. See Lewis's History, p. 50 ; Wilkins's Concilia, vol. iii. 
p. 118 : and Wordsworth's Ecclesiastical Biography, 7ol. i. pp. 33 and 34, in the note. — Ed. 

COl'V OK THK I'Ol'l. S WILD BULL. ,-> 

story whom I follow ; what exclamations, what wouderings and •ff'c*o»'rf- 

marvels they make at these Oxford men, for so doubting at a nuitter 

so plain, so manifest of itself, as they say, whether the pope's bull ^- ^' 
sent to them from Home was to be received or not ; which thing to 
our monkish ^vriters seemed then such a prodigious wonder, that they 
with blushing cheeks arc fain to cut short the matter, in the midst, 
with silence. 

The copy of this wild bull, sent to them from the pope, was this : 

Gregory the Bishop, the Servant of (lod's Servants, to his well- 
beloved Sons, the Chancellor and University of Oxford, in the 
Diocese of Lincoln, Greeting and Apostolical Benediction. 

We are compelled not only to marvel, but also to lament, that you, consider- The 
ing the apostolical seat hath given unto your university of Oxford such great f'"''^ ^ ,, 
favour and privilege, and also that you flow, as in a large sea, in the knowledge sent to 
of the holy Scriptures, and ought to be champions and defenders of the ancient Oxiord. 
and catholic faith (without which there is no salvation), by your great negligence 
and sloth, will suffer wild cockle, not only to grow up among the pure wheat of 
the flourishing field of yoiu" university, but also to wax strong and choke the 
com. Neither have ye any care, as we are informed, to extirpate and pluck 
the same up by the roots, to the great blemishing of your renowned name, the 
peril of your souls, the contempt of the church of Rome, and to the great decay 
of the ancient faith. And further (which grieveth us), the increase of that 
filthy weed was more sharply rebuked and judged of in Rome than in England, 
where it sprang : wherefore let there be means sought, by the help of the 
faithful, to root out the same. Grievously it is come to our ears, that one John The pope 
Wickliff, parson of Lutterworth, in Lincoln diocese, a professor of divinity '^°™- 
(would God he were not rather a master of errors), is rim into a kind of detest- of^john 
able wickedness, not only and openly publishing, but also vomiting out of the Wicklifl". 
liJthy dungeon of his breast, divers professions, false and erroneous conclusions, 
and most wicked and damnable heresies, whereby he might defile the faithful 
sort, and bring them from the right path headlong into the way of perdition, 
overthrow the state of the clmrch, and utterly subvert the secular policy. Of 
which his mischievous heresies some seem to agree (only certain names and 
terms changed) with the perverse opinions, and unlearned doctrine, of Marsilius 
of Padua, and of John of Ganduno, of miworthy memory ; whose books were 
uttei'ly abolished in the realm of England, by om' predecessor of happy memorj^, 
John XXIL, which kingdom doth not only flourish in power and abundance of 
faculties, but is much more glorious and shining in pureness of fuith ; accus- 
tomed always to bring forth men excellently learned in the true knowledge of 
the holy Scriptures, ripe in gravity of manners, men notable in devotion, and 
defenders of the catholic faith. 

Wherefore we will and command you, by our writing apostolical, in the name 
of your obedience, and upon pain of privation of our favour, indidgences, and 
privileges granted unto you and your university from the said see apostolical, 
tliat hereafter ye sufter not those pestilent heresies, and those subtle and false 
conclusions and propositions, misconstriung the light sense of faith and good 
works (howsoever they term it, or what curious implication of words soever they 
use) any longer to be disputed of, or brought in question ; lest if it be not 
withstood at the first, and plucked up by the roots, it might perhaps be too late, 
hereafter to prepare medicines when a greater number are infected with the 
contagion. And fiulher, that ye apprehend immediately, or cause to be appre- Here the 
hended the said John Wickliff, and deliver him to be detained in the safe ^^''.'i i"^" 
ciLstody of our well-beloved brethren, the archbishop of Canterbiuy, and the *" " ^"^ 
bishop of London, or either of them. And if you shiul find any gainsayers cor- 
rupted with the said doctrine (which God forbid) in your said university, within 
your jurisdiction, who shall obstinately stiuid in the said errors, that then, in 
like manner, ye apprehend them, and commit them to safe custody, and other- 
wise to do, in this case, as it shall appertain unto you ; so that by yoiu" carefid 
proceedings herein, your past negligence concerning the premises may now 
fuUv be supplied and recon'''H!used with prc-x-iit diligence. Whereby you sliall 



Richard not only purcliase unto you the favour and benevolence of the seat apostolical, 
^■f- but also a great reward and merit of Almighty God. 
J Given at Rome, at St. Mary's the Greater, xi. Kalends of June, and in the 

1S7S ^'^^ J^''^ "^ '^"' consecration. 
Simon Besides this bull sent to the university of Oxford, the said pope 

Gregory directed, moreover, his letters at the same time to the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, Simon Sudbury, and to the bishop of London, 
named William Courtney, with the conclusions of John Wickliff 
therein enclosed, commanding them, by virtue of those his letters 
apostolical, and straitly enjoining them to cause the said John 
WicklifF to be apprehended, and cast into prison ; and that the king 
and the nobles of England shovdd be admonished by them, not to 
give any credit to the said John WicklifF, or to his doctrine in any M'ise. 
Besides this bill or bull of the pope, sent unto the archbishop of 
Canterbury and to the bishop of London, bearing date, eleventh 
Kalend. Jun. and the seventh year of the reign of the pope ; I find, 
moreover, in the said story, two other letters' of the pope concerning 

(1) The editor subjoins the two letters to which our author alludes, from Wilkins's Concilia 
Magnce Britannise et Hiberniaa, pp. 117, 118. 

AlicB litem afostoliccE ad citandum cum ad comjmrcndum coram domino papa. Ex Eeg. 
Sudbury, fol. 45, b. — " Gregorius episcopus, servus servorum Dei, venerabilibus fratribus archi- 
episcopo Cantuariensi, et episcopo Londonensi, salutem, et apostolicam benedictionem. Xuper 
nos non sine gravi cordis turbatione, ex plurium fide dignorum significatione pcrcepto, quod 
Johannes WycfifT, rector ecclesis de Lutterworth, Lincoiniensis dioecesis, sacrae paginss professor, 
utinam non magister errorum, in earn dctestabileni vesaniam temere proruperat, quod nonnullas 
propositiones et conclusiones erroneas ac falsas, et male in fide sonantes, qua; statum totius eccle- 
sias subvertere et enervare nituntur, quarumquee aliquae, licet quibusdam mutatis terminis, imitari 
videbantur perversas opiniones, et doctrinam indoctam damnatse memoriae Marsilii de Padua, et 
Johannis de Ganduna, quorum liber per felicis recordationis Johanncra papam XXII. prasdcces- 
sorem nostrum, reprobatus extitit et damnatus, non verebatur in regne Anglias asserere, dogmati- 
zare, et publice praedicare, illis nonnuUos Christi fideles nialigne inficiens, ac a fide catholica, sine 
qua non est salus, faciens deviare. Nos attendentes, quod tarn perniciosum malum, quod in 
plurimos serpere poterat, corum animas lethali contagione necaudo, non debebamus, prout nee 
(lebemus, sub dissimulatione transire; vobis per alias nostras literas commisim\is et mandavimus, 
ut vos, vel alter vestrum de dictarum propositionum et conclusionum assertione, quaruni copiani 
sub bulla nostra misimus interclusam, vos secrcto informantes, si ita esse inveneritis praedictum 
Johannem auctoritate nostra capi, et carceribus mancii)ari faceretis, eumque sub bona custodia 
teneretis in vinculis, donee a nobis super hoc receperitis aliud in mandatis, prout in dictis Uteris 
plenius continetur. Considerantes itaque, quod praefatus Johannes hujusmodi captionem et car- 
cerationem forte praisentiens, posset (quod absit) per fugae, latitationis prsesidia dictum nostrum 
mandatum in gravissimum fidei detrimentum eludere ; nos, ne tam damnabilcs propositiones et 
conclusiones indiscussas, et earum tcmerarius assertor impunitus remaneant, in detrimentum 
gravissimum fidei prtelibata?, fraternitati vestrce per apostolica scrijjta committimus et mandamus, 
quatenus vos, vel alter vestrum, per vos vel aliuni, seu alios, praefatum Johannem, si per vos capi 
et carcerari nonpossit, per edictum publicum proponendum in studio Oxoniensi dictae dioecesis, et 
aliis locis publicis, de quibus sit verisimilis conjectura, quod ad dicti Johannis uotitiam perv-enire 
valeat, et de quibus vobis expedire videatur, ex parte nostra peremptorie monere et citare curetis, 
quod infra trium mensium spatium a die citationis hujusmodi in antea computandum, ubicunque 
tunc nos esse contigerit, compareat personaliter coram nobis, super propositionibus et conclusi- 
onibus hujusmodi responsurus ac dicturus, et facturus quicquid super eis duxerimus ordinandum, 
et ordo dictaverit rationis ; praedicendo in hujusmodi citationis edicto, quod, sive idem Johannes 
in hujusmodi termino comparuerit, sive non comparuerit, nos super prasmissis, et contra eum, 
usque ad debitam condemnationem ipsius inclusive procedemus, prout ejus deraerita exigent, ac 
nobis secundum Deum et conservationem dictae fidei videbitur expedire. VoUimus autcm, et prae- 
sentium tenore statuimus, quod prasdicta citatio sic facta, perinde piaefatum Johannem arctet, ac 
si sibi personaliter insinuata et intimata fuisset ; constitutione quacunque contraria non obstante. 
Diem vero citationis et formam,et quicquid feceritis in pr^dictis, nobis per vestras literas, vestris 
sigillis raunitas, harum serieni continentes, fideliter et quam citius poteritis, intimare curetis. 
Dat. Romae apud Sanctam Mariam Majorem, 11 cal. Junii, pontlficatus nostri anno septimo." 
[A.D. 1377, the 51st Ed. III.] 

Alice litereB apostoliccE pro codcm. Ex Reg. Sudbury, fol. 46, a. — " Gregorius episcopus servus 
servorum Dei, venerabilibus fratribus Cantuariensi archiepiscopo, et episcopo Londonensi, salutem, 
et apostolicam benedictionem. Subsi periculosis admodum erroribus quarundam detestabilium 
propositionum et conclusionum ad enervationem totius ecclesiastici status tendentium, quas scrip- 
tas in scliedula inclusa praesentibus, Johannes Wycliff, rector ecclesiae de Lutterworth, Lincoinien- 
sis diccccsis, dictus theologiae professor, asseritur tam impie, quam temere suscitasse plenius vobis 
scribimus per alias nostras patentes literas, quas cum prssentibus destinamus. Volumus igitur, 
et fraternitati vestrae mandamus, quatenus clarissimum in Christo filium nostrum Edwardum, 
legem Angliae illustreni, et dilectos tilios nobiles viros et natos dicti regis, ao delectam in Christo 
filiam nobilem mulierem princepissam Acquitaniae et WaUiae, aliosque magnates de Anglia, et 
consiliarios regis, iper vos et alios magistros et peritos in sacra pagina non maculatos hujusmodi 
erroribus, sed in fide sinceros et fervidos studeatis facere plenarie informari, ac eis ostendi, quanta 
verecundia devoto regno Angliae oriatur exinde ; et quod non solum sunt ipsK conclusiones erro- 
neae in fide, sed, si bene advertatur, innuunt omnem distruere politiam ; et requi'ratis eos strictis- 
sime, quod ad extirpationem tantomm errorum, pro reverentia Dei et apostolicsc sedis, et nostrn, 


the same matter, but differing in form, sent unto the same bishops, Bichard 

and all bearing the same date, both of the day, year, and month of '. 

the reign of the said pope Gregory : whereby it is to be supposed A. D. 
that the said pope either was very exquisite and solicitous about the ^•^^^- 
matter, to have WicklifF to be apprehended, who wrote three divers Three 
letters to one person, and all in one day, about one business, or else the pope 
that he did suspect the bearers thereof; the solution whereof I leave p"°JJ,^, 
to the judgment of the reader. ^''""^ °"^ 

h urthermore, beside these letters \vritten to the university, and to 
the bishops, he directeth also another epistle, bearing the same date, 
unto king Edward, as one of my stories saith ; but as another saith, 
to king Richard, which soundeth more near the truth ; forasmuch as 
in the seventh year of pope Gregory XL, which was a.d. 1378, 
king Edward was not alive. The copy of his letter to the king here 
followeth : — 

The Copy of the Epistle sent by the Bishop of Rome to Richard, 

King of England, to persecute John WicklifF. ' 

Unto his well-beloved son in Christ, Richard, the most noble king of Eng- i 

land, health, &c. 1 

The kingdom of England, which the Most Highest hath put under your i 

power and governance, being so famous and renowned in valiancy and strength, 
so abundant and flowing in all kind of wealth and riches, but much more glo- 
rious, resplendent, and shining, through the brightness and clearness of all 
godliness and faith, hath been accustomed always to bring forth men endued i 

with the true knowledge and understanding of the holy Scriptures, grave in ; 

years, fervent in devotion, and defenders of the catholic faith : tlie which have 
not only directed and instructed their own peojile through their wholesome I 

doctrine and precepts into the true path of God's commandments, but also we 
have heard by the report and infoiTnation of many credible persons, to our i| 

great grief and heart sorrow, that John Wickliff, parson of Lutterworth, in the I 

diocese of Lincoln, professor of divinity (I would to God he were no author of I 

heresy), hath fallen into such a detestable and abominable madness, that he 'i 

hath propounded and set forth diverse and sundry conclusions, full of errors, and 
containing most manifest heresy, which do tend utterly to subvert and over- 
throw the state of the whole church ; of which, some (albeit under coloured 
phrase and speech) seem to smell and savour of perverse opinions, the foolish i 

doctrine of condemned memory of Marsiliiis of Padua, and John of Ganduno, ' 

whose books were, by pope John XXIL, our px-edecessor, a man of a most happy j 

memory, reproved and condemned, &c. i 

Hitherto, gentle reader, thou hast heard how WicklifF was accused 
by the bishop. Now you shall also hear the pope's mighty reasons 
and arguments, by which he did confute him, to the king. It fol- , 

loweth : — 

Therefore, forasmuch as our reverend brethren the archbishop of Canterbury Here is ' 

and the bishop of London have received a special commandment from us, by impdson- 
our authority, to apprehend and commit the before-named John WicklifF unto JJJfteach. 
prison, and to transport his confession unto us : if they shall seem in the pro- ing. 
secution of this their business to lack your favour or help, we require, and most ' 

earnestly desire your majesty, even as your most noble predecessors have always i 

been most earnest lovers of the catholic faith (whose case or quarrel in this matter ■ 

is chiefly handled) ; that you would vouchsafe, even for the reverence of God 
and the faith aforesaid, and also of the apostolic seat and of our person, with 
your help and favour to assist the said archbishop and all others that shall go 
about to execute the said business : whereby, besides the praise of men, you 

ipsonimque, merito apud Deum, et honore in seculo, tanquam caUiolici piincipes, etpugiles dict.-B 
fldei, omni, qua pcterint, efficacia tribuant auxilium et favorem. Dat. RomEe apud Sanctara 
MariaiD Majorem, 11 cal. Junii, pontificatus nostri anno septimo." 

8 THE i'opk's arguments in confuting heresies. 

Richard shall obtain an heavenly reward, and great favour and good will at our hand, 
^^- and of the see aforesaid. — Dated at Rome, at St. Mary the Greater, the 11th 
~7~Q~ Kal. of June, in the 7th year of our bishopric, a.d. 1378. 

1378. *' These are the -whole force and strength of the arguments with 
The which these apostolic bishops do defend the christian faith, and by 
reas'ons which tliey pcrsuadc the whole world to the burning of their brethren, 
and argu- -^yhom they, by a slanderous title and name, do call heretics, and we, 
confuting truly contrariwisc, most blessed martyrs. We will require and com- 
mand you, what reason is brought herein, but only that will standeth 
for reason ? Whatsoever the pope doth once pronounce or speak, 
it is counted of such force and effect, that there is no man so hardy 
or stout, that dare once murmur against it. But they who do succeed 
in the apostles^ room and place, ought to confer with their brethren 
with an apostolic spirit and meekness, considering with themselves 
(according to the counsel of the gospel) " of what spirit," and whose 
ministers they are ; for whatsoever is lawful unto an extern judge, or 
in a profane cause ; or in time past hath been licensed unto tyrants 
among the heathen ; or else, whatsoever was permitted unto the 
bishops of the old law, is not, by and by, fit and decent for the mi- 
nisters of the New Testament, who have received a far diverse and 
contrary spirit, even the spirit of him, who commanded them to learn 
of him to be humble and meek of heart. Wherefore it were very 
decent that these men (brag they never so much of the apostles'" 
succession), do remember themselves, not only that they are ministers 
and servants, but also whose ministers they are ; for, as Themistocles 
said, that he would not count him a cunning musician that kept 
neither number nor measure in his song ; so likewise must these men 
think of themselves in the usage of their function and ofSce, that 
they frame themselves no other way, than according to the true 
harmony of the rule which they have professed. And albeit that 
Wickliff had been a most great and rank heretic, yet where did the 
pope learn to bind him in fetters, to lay him in prison,^ and, with 
force and fire,^ to oppress and persecute him,* when as yet he had 
confuted him by no probable argument, whose cause also, peradven- 
ture, he did not sufficiently know ? And seeing that John Wickliff' 
had written so many books in Latin, if they had seemed not conso- 
nant to the truth, how worthy a thing had it been for the apostolic 
dignity, first to have communicated the matter with the man himself, 
or else to have debated the same (as far as had been lawful) amongst 
learned men. Truly it had been their office and duty, stoutly to 
subdue and overthrow errors, by the Scriptures, and not by force : 
and, verily, to accuse him so rasldy, to so noble and valiant a prince 
and king, not having any cause, which either they could not, or would 

(1) These passages in single asterisks, extending to page 10, are extracts from the Edition of 
1563, pp. 89—91, and are iii the Latin Edition of 1559, pp. 6, 7.— Ed. 

(2) If it should be objected to this expression, that Wickliff was never subjected to so severe 
a punishment, the reader is reminded that it was the gracious providence of God which preserved 
this able reformer from the misery of fetters and prisonhouses, and not from any leniency on the part 
of the pope of Rome ; for in 1377 the pope issued bulls, addressed to the archbishop of Canterbury, 
to the bishop of London, to the king, and to the heads of the university of Oxford, commanding 
that Wickliff should be seized and detained in prison till further instructioas arrived from Rome. 
See the document, just before cited, by Foxe, from the pope to king Richard, and note (1) on 
p. 6.— Ed. 

(3) Our author means the " fire" of persecution, as he not only describes the inability of the 
papists to silence the tongue or overthrow the doctrine of this zealous protestant, but notices here- 
after his peaceful death at Lutterworth. — Ed. 

(4) A mandate from the king was addressed to the vice-chancellor, dated July 1382, ordering 
that Wicliliff and his adherents should be expelled from the miiversity, within seven days. — Ed. 


not, brine: and allcL![e him, it sccnictli to be a kind of most iiuitnrd 
strange and barbarous cruelty and lightness, for men ini])udently to 

abuse the majesty of their prince. A. D. 

And yet tliese men (whom nothing can once cause to blush or Ije __li_ 
ashamed) desire to be accounted the successors of the apostles ; from 
whose manners and examples they do so much vary, and are as distant, 
as we are distant from India. St. Paul willeth, that after thou hast 
admonished or warned a heretic once or twice, if he do not amend, 
then to fly and eschew his company. [Tit. iii. 10.] Which of the 
apostles, at any time, did cast a heretic into jirison, were he ever so 
obstinate, either bound him in fetters, or consumed him to ashes .'' as 
though the truth itself, and Christ, who is the author of truth, were not 
strong enough of tliemselves to reprove heretics, without they were 
holpen with bonds and torments. 8t. Paul, instructing the ecclesiasti- 
cal pastor with apostolic precepts, amongst other things, writeth thus 
to Timothy, [2 Epis. ii.24,] " It is not meet for the servant of the 
Lord to fight and strive, but to show himself mild and gentle towards 
all men, ready to instruct, suffering evil, and with meekness teaching 
not only those which were seduced through error or ignorance, but 
also such as do resist, that God in time may give them repentance 
to know his truth." And again, writing unto Titus, [i. 9,] he saith 
that " he must be stout, or strong, to overcome those who resist and 
gainsay him :" but how ! with sword, weapon, or torment ? No ! I 
think not ; but with the armour and power of the Spirit, and vvith 
the word of God. For it is far different to fight with worldly princes, 
as touching their right, and to dispute in causes of religion, in the 
chiu-ch of God. I confess, that according to St. PauFs word, we must 
eschew and fly a heretic ; but it is one thing to eschew a heretic, and 
a clean contrary one to kill an innocent, instead of a heretic. He that 
being once or twice admonished or warned, and continueth still in his 
error, is worthy not only to be eschewed of all men, but also, by 
strait imprisonment, to be secluded from all good and honest company. 
But how shall I know that it is an error, without thou do allege better .'' 

From whence then is this example of barbarous cruelty sprung up By what 
or come into the christian hierarchy, that they will straight condemn "/,e^"^ 
to death, him, whom not only they have not overcome with any argu- wsimps 
ments, but also not once admonished, for no other cause but only vince 
that he seemeth unto them a heretic ? wherefore, he that can so '^®'^'^""- 
boldly pronounce or determine of other men''s heresies, had need to 
be assuredly grounded as to what is the true sincerity of the faith ; 
otherwise, if tliat was sufficient for every man, which his own will and 
affection lead him unto, it were to be feared, lest, as it happened unto 
the Jews in time past, when they would have crucified Christ, as a 
deceiver, they crucified the very Son of God ; so likewise may happen Papists 
unto them in persecuting of heretics, that they themselves become the sewl^sthe 
greatest heretics of all others. But now-a-days, there are many, whom fl^^^<^^ll 
either their nature, or cruelty, or folly, or some vain superstition, hath 
so moved or stirred up, that albeit they understand and see no more, 
in these matters, than a poor blind man doth, in colours ; yet is it a 
world to see with how great boldness they will determine and pro- 
nounce against heretics. And yet, these are they who cannot fad to 
err, or be deceived ; neither is it lawful for any man to examine their 


liichuni -wills, by the censure of any liunian judg^iicnt. O most miserable state 
— — — of the church ! seeing that the whole state of christian people dependeth 
^' ^^- on the will (as it were on the beck) of any one man, that whatsoever 
^''^^^- doth either please or displease his blockish brain, must be received 
and embraced of all men ; and according thereunto, the whole reli- 
gion to be applied and formed : what other thing is this, than to 
refer Christ^s religion unto men''s wills, and not men unto religion ? 

But now we will leave off to speak any more of the pope, and 
return to Wickliff; who, albeit, as we said before, he was forced by 
the bishops and prelates to keep silence, yet could not be so sup- 
pressed ; but that through the vehemencv of the truth, he burst out 
afterwards much more fiercely. For Wickliff, having obtained and 
gotten the good will and favour of certain noblemen, attempted again 
to stir up his doctrine amongst the common people. Then began 
the Pharisees again to swarm and gather together, with marvellous 
tragedies, striving against the light of the gospel, which began to shine 
abroad ; neither was the pope himself behind with his part, for he 
never ceased with his bulls and letters, to stir up them, who other- 
wise, of their own accord, were but too furious and mad. Divers 
copies of his letters I have by me, in which, save force and violence, 
threatenings and vain words, there was nothing else contained.* 

The articles included in the pope's letters, which he sent to the 
bishops and to the king, against Wickliff, were these which in order 
do follow : — 

The Conclusions of John Wickliff, exhibited in the Convocation of 
certain Bishops at Lambeth. 

I. All the whole race of mankind here on earth, except Christ, have no 
power simply to ordahi, that Peter and all his offspring should politically rule 
over the world for ever. 

II. God cannot give to any man, for him and his heirs, any civil dominion 
for ever. 

III. All writings invented by men, as touching perpetual heritage, are im- 

IV. Every man, being in grace justifying, hath not only right unto the thing, 
but also for his time hath right, indeed, over all the good things of God. 

V. A man can only ministratoriously give any temporal gift, or perpetual gift, 
whether to his natural son, or to his son by imitation. 

VI. If God be, the temporal lords may lawfully and meritoriously take away 
the riches from the church when delinquent.' 

VII. We know that Christ's vicar cannot, neither is able by his bulls, neither 
by his own will and consent, neither by the consent of his college, either to 
enable or disable any man. 

VIII. A man cannot be excommunicated to his hurt or undoing, except he 
be first and principally excommunicate by himself. 

IX. No man ought, but in God's cause alone, to excommunicate, suspei\d, or 
forbid, or otherwise to proceed to revenge by any ecclesiastical censure.^ 

(1) " The church when delinquent ;" see the Latin edition, p. 9, •' Ecclesia delinquente." In the 
English editions, see "the church when they do ofiend habitualiter." Between the sixth and the 
seventh conclusion, Wilkins. in his Concilia, vol. iii. p. 123, gives another from Sudbury's Regis- 
ter — "Nunquid ecclesia est in tali statu vel non, non est meum descutere, sed dominorum tempo- 
ralium examinare ; et posito casu contidenter agere, et in poena daninationis a;ternae ejus temporalia 
auferre." This is not extant in the Latin nor in any English edition of Foxe ; Lewis, p. 58, gives 
it thus: " Whether the church he in such a state or not, is not my business to examine, but the 
business of temporal lords ; who, if they find it in such a state, are to act boldly, and on the penalty 
of damnation to take away its teraporalties." The same writer adds a note, intimating that this ar- 
ticle was inserted in the pope's schedule, but no reason is alleged for its omission by our author. — Ed 

(2) This conclusion is otherwise expressed in the pope's schedule. The same observation applies 
to the fifteenth and three following. See Lewis's History, p. 58.— Ed. 


X. A cm-se or excommunication doth not simply bind, but in case it be pro- Richard 
nounced and given out against the adversary of God's law. ^^■ 

XI. Tliere is no power given by any example of Christ to his apostles, to . ^ 
excommunicate any subject specially for denying of any temporalties, but rather , 'y' 
contrariwise. 1 

XII. The disciples of Christ have no power to exact, by any ci\'il authority, 
temporalties by censures. 

XIII. It is not possible by the absolute power of God, that if the pope, or 
any other Christian do pretend by any means to bind or to loose, that thereby 
he doth so bind and loose. 

XIV. We ought to beUeve that the vicar of Christ doth only bind and loose 
when he worketh conformably to the law and ordinance of Christ. 

XV. This ought universally to be believed, that every priest rightly and duly 
ordered, according unto the law of grace, hath power according to his vocation, 
whereby he may minister the sacraments, and consequently absolve any 
man confessing his fault, he being contrite for the same. 

XVI. It is lawful for kings, in causes licensed by the law, to take away the 
temporalties from the spiritualty, sinning ' habitualiter,' that is, who continue 
in the custom of sin, and will not amend. 

XVII. Whether they be temporal lords, or any other men, whatsoever they 
be, who have endowed any church with temporalties, it is lawfiil for them to take 
away the same temporalties, as it were by way of medicine, to avoid sin, 
notwithstanding any excommunication or other ecclesiastical censure ; foras- 
much as they are not given but under a condition. 

XVIII. An ecclesiastical minister, and also the bishop of Rome, may lawfully 
be rebuked by his subjects, and for the profit of the church be accused either by 
the clergy or by the laity.* 

The above letters, with these articles enclosed, being received from 
the pope, *the'^ bishop of Canterbury and the other bishops took them 
no little to heart ; for, being partly encouraged by them, and partly 
moved and pricked forward by their own fierceness and cruelty, it is 
to be marvelled at, with what boldness and stomach they did openly 
profess, before their provincial council,* that all regard of fear or 
fevour set apart, no person, neither high nor low, should hinder them, 
neither would they be *seduced^ by the entreaty of any man, neither 
by any manner of threatenings or rewards : but that in this cause, they 
would follow straight and upright justice and equity, yea, albeit even 
if danger of life should follow thereupon : surely a very good and 
noble promise, if they had determined this justice, within its right 
bounds.* But these so fierce brags, and stout promises, with the stout 
subtle practices of these bishops, who thought themselves so sure J'^^" *" ' 
before, the Lord, against whom no determination of man's counsel l^^l\y^ 
can prevail, by a small occasion did easily confound and overthrow, thrown. 
For the day of the examination being come, a certain personage of the wicumr 
prince's court, and yet of no great noble birth, named Lewis Clifford, ^f^Jg^ 
entering in among the bishops, commanded them that they should if'ore 
not proceed with any definitive sentence against John Wickliff. At 
these words they all were so amazed, and their combs so cut, that, as 
in the story is mentioned, they became mute and speechless, as men 
having not one word in their mouths to answer. And thus, by the is again 
wondrous work of God's providence, John Wickliflf escaped the trom'^^'^'^ 
second time out of the bishops' hands, and was by them clearly "'^™- 
dismissed upon his declaration made of his articles, as anon shall 

(1) Lewis observes, p. 46, " This conclusion or article was thus represented by the Council of 
Constance : ' People may, at their pleasure, correct their princes, when they do amiss.'" These 
conclusions have been collated \>'ith the Latin. — Ed. 

(2) and (3) These two passages are from Edition 15G3, p. 90.— Ed. 


Richard Moreover, here is nut to be passed over, how at the same time, 
' and in the said chapel of the archbishop at Lambeth, where the 
A. D. bishops were sitting upon John Wickliif, the historian, writing of the 
^^'^^- doing thereof, addeth these words, saying:' " I say, not only that the 
citizens of London, but also the vile abjects of the city, presumed to 
be so bold in the same chapel at Lambeth, where the bishops were 
sitting upon John WicklifF, as both to entreat for him, and also to 
let and stop the same matter ; trusting, as I suppose, to the negli- 
gence Avhich they saw before, in the bishops," &c. 

Over and besides, here is not to be forgotten, how the said John 
WicklifF, at the time of his examination, offered and exhibited unto 
the bishops, in writing, a protestation, with a declaration or expo- 
sition of iiis own mind, upon his said articles, the effect whereof 

The Protestation of John WicklifF. 

First, I protest, as I have often before done, that I do mind and intend with 
my wliole heart, by the grace of God, to be a true Cliristian ; and, as long as 
breath shall remain in me, to profess and defend the law of Christ. And if it 
shall happen that through ignorance, or otherwise, I shall fail therein, I desire 
of my Lord God pardon and forgiveness. And now again, as before also, I do 
revoke and make retractation ; most humbly submitting myself under the cor- 
rection of our holy mother, the church. And forasmuch as the sentence of my 
faith, which I have holden in the schools and elsewhere, is reported even by 
children, and, moreover, is carried by children even unto Rome; therefore, 
lest my dearly beloved brethren should take any offence by me, I will set forth 
in writing the sentence and articles, for which I am now accused and impeached ; 
which also even unto the death I will defend, as I believe all Christians ought 
to do, and specially the bishop of Rome, and all other priests and ministers of 
the church : for I do understand the conclusions after the sense and manner of 
speaking of the Scriptures and holy doctors, which I am ready to expound ; 
and if they shall be found contrary to the faith, I am ready to revoke, and 
speedily to call them back again. - 

(1) " Non dico cives tantum Londinenses, sed viles ipsius civitatis se impudenter ingerere pree- 
sumpserunt in eandem capellam et verba facere pro eodem, et istud negotium impedire, confisi, ut 
reor, de ipsorum pra^missa negligentia pra^latorum," &c. 

(2) When Wickliff had been dismissed from the convocation of bishops holden at Lambeth m 
1377, he was attacked by an anonymous writer, whom he designated a.' motley theologian.' In 
Wickliff's reply to this zealous defender of papacy, he concludes his treatise, first, by a " further 
explanation" of his Conclusions (given in the text above) ; and secondly, by a zealous appeal to 
the influential classes of society, to shake off the temporal and spiritual thraldom of the church 
of Rome. The following Conclusions and Expositions are the first which he set forth, and are 
inserted from the first edition of the ' Acts and Monuments', where Foxe observes, " it were too 
long in this place to rehearse all the conclusions of this book^ but for the rare and most singular 
utility and profit in them, gentle reader! I thought it not good to omit them, lest I should be 
thought more desirous of brevity than of profit." — Ed. 

The First Conclusions of John Wickliff, exhibited in the Convocation of certain Bishops, at Lambeth. 

I. "All the whole race of mankind," &c. It is evident by the Scriptures. Forasmuch as in the 
latter judgment all civil rule shall cease, [1 Cor. xv.] ; where the apostle, speaking of the latter 
day, writeth thus; " Then shall the end come, when he shall deliver up his kingdom unto God, 
his Father, when he shall have made void all princely rule, power, and dominion." Whosoever 
then believeth the resurrection of the body, must also believe this article, forasmuch as after that, 
there shall be no more exaction or secular conversion. No man then hath power, in this behalf, 
to ordain any thing contrary to the will and decree of the Lord. 

II. " God cannot give to any man," &c. For this I do take : that this word ' for ever,' is taken 
properly and famously, after the manner of the church, praying, " Glory be unto the Trinity, both 
now and ever." Secondly, I understand that civil dominion is taken, formally, for that, whereby 
every man doth civilly rule and govern. And, thirdly, that this speech of the power of God, is 
ordinate or revealed in the holy Scriptures ; and then this conclusion followeth, by that which is 
aforesaid ; that by speaking of the absolute power of God, it seemcth probable unto many, that 
the Lord cannot continue eternally the success of his spouse, because he should then defraud her 
of her reward, and unjustly defer to take vengeance upon the body of the devil, which he hath 

III. "All writings invented by men," &c. This was spoken, by the way, to a certain Doctor, 
who, highly commending the writings of men, did contemn and neglect the holy Scriptures. I said 
it was best to attend and lean unto their [the ?] position and defence of the Scripture, forasmuch as 
many of these writings are impossible. I grant the conclusion, forasmuch as many writings affirm 
as touching those who are disherited and dead untested, that it is given to them for themselves 


An Exposition upon the Conclusions of John WicldifF, exhibited by ^'"'j'^^'^ 

him to the Bishops. 

^ A.D. 

1. " All the race of mankind here on earth, except Christ, hatli no power 1378. 
simply to ordain, that Peter," &c. 

This conclusion of itself is evident, forasmuch as it is not in man's power to 
stop tlie coming of Christ to his final judgment, but he must needs come, 
according to the article of our creed, to judge both the quick and the dead. 

and their heirs for ever, by a divine writing; which thing, forasmuch as it is against the divine 
ordinance, they ought not to canonize every writing contemning the Scriptures. 

IV. " Every man being in grace justifying," &c. Winch appeareth evidently enough by the holy 
Scripture, [Matt, xxiv.] " Verily I say unto you, above all, the goodness of God," &c. ; and the 
apostle saith. in Romans viii., " God spared not his own Son. but gave him for us all ; how, tlien. 
did he not give us all things also with him?" Wherefore these three first conclusions do even 
print faith in the hearts of these worldlings, that they should not be drowned in the waves and 
cares of the world, which passeth away with its concupiscence. And the fourth conclusion allureth 
ns unto the love of God, who hath chosen us to so many great and true riches. 

V. " A man can but only ministratoriously give any temporal dominion or gift, as well to his natu- 
ral son, as to bis son by adoption." Itappeareth from Luke vi., "They shall give you, and put into 
your bosoms a good measure filled, heaped up, and running over." And, forasmuch as it is done 
only by ministration, it is evident that it is not lawful to give any thing to a man living in this 
world, but ac it were by the ministry of God, and under his authority, according to the saying of 
the apostles ; " I say that Jesus Christ was a minister," &c. Let not his vicar be ashamed to use 
the ministry of the church ; forasmuch as he is, or at least ought to be, the servant of the servants 
of God. For the determination going from the manner of speaking of the holy Scripture, and 
the pride of secular dominion, with the flattering and 'glossing worldly style, doth seem to tend 
unto blasphemy, and to the advancement of Antichrist; and. especially, wlien the verities of the 
Scriptures are reputed as cokle, contrary to the christian faith; yea, by the head captains them- 
selves, who do presume that aU controversies of the Scriptures should stand in their determination; 
albeit they be ever so ignorant of the Scriptures. For so they might consent and come together 
unto the court, to buy out a condemnation against the most holy and sacred Scriptures as heretical, 
and also adetennination against the articles of our christian faith. 

VI. " If God be, the temporal lords may lawfully," &e. By this is to be understood, that we 
do speak of power, according as the authentic Scripture doth speak, [Matt, iii.] "God is able, even 
of these stones, to raise up children unto Abraham." Wherefore I do grant the consequent cor- 
respondent unto the iirst .-irticle of our faith : for if God be, he is omnipotent ; and if he be omni- 
potent, he may give unto the secular lords such powers; and so, consequently, the secular lords 
may meritoriously and lawfully use the same power. But, lest this conclusion should not seem to 
depend on the consequent, 1 have declared, how that the temporal lords have power to withdraw 
and take away their alms and charity bestowed upon the church, if they abuse the same ; and that 
such taking away, in some case, is a spiritual work of mercy, saving and preserving the soul from 
eternal fire, and obtaining blessedness and grace ; and such cluirity aforesaid, bestowed upon the 
church, yea although against the religion which Christ hath ordained, doth relieve the body from 
a temporal misery, as a corporal or bodily alms. And as it seemeth, that great gifts may be an 
occasion of blessedness and happiness, so more like is the taking away of the same. Yet, notwith- 
standing, 1 said that it was not lawful to do it, but by the authority of the church, and for lack of 
some spiritual ruler or governor, and in case the ecclesiastical minister, being strayed from the 
catholic faith, is to be corrected and punished, 

VII. " We know that Christ's vicar cannot," &c. It appeareth evidently by the Scriptures ; for- 
asmuch as the church doth fully believe, that the abling of any man ought first to proceed and 
come of God ; wherefore no man, being Christ's vicar, hath any power in this matter ; but only, as 
vicar, in the name of the Lord, to notify unto the church, whom God hath enabled. Wherefore, 
if any man do any thing, not as vicar, in the name of the Lord, whom he ought to forethink to be 
his author and head, it is a presumption of Lucifer ; forasmuch as Christ by his apostle saith, 
[1 Cor. iii.] " All our sufficiency cometh of God." 

VIII. " A man cannot be excommunicated to his hurt," S;c. It appeareth; forasmuch as every 
such excommunication doth tend unto the impairing of him who is excommunicated ; for no man, 
according to St. Chrysostom's mind, and by the holy Scriptures, can be endamaged or hurt, except 
he be hurt by sin, which must take its first original and beginning from him who doth commit the 
offence or sin. For the just and deserved suspension of any man, from the sacraments, and 
entrance to the church, is no excommunication of the church, but by name only : and, as touching 
the desert itself, it proceedeth first from him who is excommunicated, rather than from the vicar 
of Christ, who doth give the sentence against him; for no man is excommunicated to his own 
hurt, but only through sin, which taketh away God's help ; and as it appeareth by Isaiah li.x. 
" Your sins have made separation between your God and you." 

IX. " No man ought, but on God's cause alone," &c. It appeareth by this, that no man ought to 
desire vengeance, but in a just cause : whereupon, I conclude, that forasmuch as all such punish- 
ment hath its original of sin, and that all sin is against God, as saith the psalmist, [Psalm li.] 
" Against thee only have I sinned." Whereby it is evident that no man ought to proceed to any 
such kind of punishment, but only in respect to take vengeance for the offence done against God ; 
for, according unto the Scripture, no man ought to take vengeance but for offence committed 
against his God, and to forgive all private injuries, as it is plain by the commandment of Christ 
[Matt, xviii], " If thy brother have offended thee, forgive him. even unto seventy times seven." 

X. Hereby the conclusion is evident, that " a curse or excommunication doth not simply bind, 
but in case it be pronounced and given out against ttie adversary of God's law ;" and it appeareth 
thus: every such malediction doth not bind, as touching towards God, except that he wlio is so 
bound doth offend against his law; but it doth not simply bind, except it did also bind as touching 
God ; ergo, I conclude, " if God do justifj', who is he that can condemn ?" and God is not offended 
at any time, but for resisting against his law. And these articles of faith do further and help, 
that the law of Christ is the i)etter embraced and loved, which, notwithstanding, ought to be the 
reason and rule to direct and lead us in every lawful process, and that the Scripture, written in 
Rom. xii., may the better be remembered, where it is said, " Dearly beloved, be not revengers of 
your own selves, but give place unto anger; for it is written, Commit vengeance to me, saith the 
Lord, and I will reward." 


nichnrd And tlien, as the Scripture teachetli, shall surcease all civil and politic rule 
IJ here : I understand the temporal and secular dominion pertaining to men here 

] — dwelling in this mortal lite, for so do the philosophers speak of civil dominion. 

A.D. j^^^^^ altliou'^h the thing which is terminable, and hath an end, is called some- 

^•^^^- times perpetual, yet, because in holy Scripture, and in use of the church, and 

in the books of philosophers, most commonly that is taken to be perpetual, 

wliich hath no end of time liereafter to come, according to which sense the 

XI. " There is no power given by any example," kc. And this is evident by this ; that Christ 
saith" that the honour of God, and the profit of the diurch, are to be preferred befofe any private 
comiiiodity, or denial of temporalties. The second part is evident by Luke ix., where he rebuked 
his disciple's, when they would have had lire to come down from heaven, to excommunicate the 
infidels and misbelievers, because they unjustly detained and kept back their goods from Christ 
and his disciples. " You know not," said he, " whose spirit ye are of; for the Son of Man cometh 
to save the souls of men, and not to destroy them." Whereupon this is a general conclusion, that 
it is not lawful for him who is Christ's vicar, to excommunicate his neighbour, but only for love ; 
wherewithal he must be more affected, than with the love of any temporal goods of this world. 
The negative conclusion is also evident, inducing and leading, unto the impossibility, which 
otherwise should be in Christ, " yea, yea, nay, nay." 

XII. " The disciples of Christ have no power," S:c. This appeareth by the apostles, and the 
other of Christ's disciples, until the time that tlie church was endued with possessions ; w hich 
church, in how great: necessity soever the faithful were, did never exercise any such kind of power 
(ir authority, but exhorted. all men according to the law of God, and the devout ministering of such 
blessings, which ought to be willing alms. But, after that the church was endued and enriched, 
then were these cloaked censures and secular exactions brought in. This is proved, and standeth 
manifest in Luke xxii., that all civil possessions wore forbidden and prohibited unto Christ's 

XIII. " It is not possible by the absolute power," &c. It appeareth, by this means, that every 
Christian may very shamefully err on this point, from the triumphant church : then could he not 
bind or loose, as he doth pretend in his mind; wherefore it cannot be, that albeit he do pretend to 
liind and loose, that he doth so. Whereupon it seemetli unto me, that he who doth usurp that 
power unto himself, should lie the same man of sin, of whom it is spoken in 2 Thess. ii., that 
" he sitteth in the temple of God, and shovveth himself, as though he were a God." 

XIV. " We ought to believe that the vicar of Christ," &c. Hereby it appeareth that all the 
power and authority which Christ's vicar hath, is then only lawful in effect, so long as it is niled 
by the good- will and pleasure of the head of the church. 

XV. " This ought universally to be believed, that every priest, rightly and duly ordered, 
according to the law of grace, hath power according to his vocation, whereby he may minister the 
sacraments, and consequently absolve any man confessing his fault, being contrite and penitent 
for the same, whatsoever it be." Whereby all men may perceive, that the power and authority of 
orders in all christian priests is alike; as Hugo, in his second book of Sacraments, doth declare. 
Notwithstanding, some authorities of the inferior sort of priests are now so reasonably restrained 
in substance, and otherwise set at liberty in the very point of need or necessity. 

XVI. " It is lawful for kings, in causes licensed by the law, to take away the temporalties from 
the spiritualty, which in their living and behaviour abuse the same." It appeareth by the reason 
set before in the fifth conclusion : for unto the greatest works of mercy, most easy unto the 
temporal lords, they are most largely bound : but, peradventure, it would be a greater alms, and 
easier temporal dominion, to take away their alms, that it do not build unto damnation through 
the abuse thereof, than to enlarge the said alms for any corporal or bodily relief or help. Where- 
fore I do conclude, that, according unto the threefold law, this sentence is specified. The first is 
the civil law: ' De Collatione Corrodii ' [Col. 10]. " If any of the clergy," saith the law, " as a 
bishop, or an abbot, have a benefice given him by the king, not only of the person, but of the 
church, and that through his own fault and offence he do lose the same, he being yet alive, it 
pertaineth unto the king. But after the death of the spiritual man, it shall return again to his 
successor." The second is the canon law [Qusest. 16] ; where it is thus decreed, that " it shall be 
lawful for the sons, nephews, and the most honest of the kindred of him, who either builded, or 
endowed any church, to have this foresight : that if they do intend to defraud any priest of the 
dowry bestowed upon him, they should either admonish him by some honest communication or 
talk, or else complain of him to the bishop or judge, to be punished : and, if it so happen that the 
bishop he negligent of doing of bis olUce, let it be told unto the metropolitan ; and if he also seem 
to slack and wink at the matter, let it then, as saith the canon, be remembered in the ears of the 
king." Neither do I believe this to be a feigned matter ; but of what, I pray you, should they 
complain unto the king, but only that he should see correction done ? Neither is there any doubt, 
but that correction doth more aptly appertain unto the king ; and the taking away of the goods 
reasonably (according unto the fault), whereof he is principal and chief lord, should be much 
better and more commendable in this behalf. The third is the law of the gospel [2 Thess. iii.], 
where the apostle writeth thus; " When we were with you, we declared this unto you, that who- 
soever would not work, should not eat." The law of nature, also, doth license all such as have 
the rule and governance of kingdoms, to correct the abuse of the temporalties, which %vill be the 
chief destructions of their kingdoms. 

XVII. " Whether they be temporal lords," &c. Hereby it appeareth, that the condition follow- 
ing upon the gift of any such goods unto the church is such, that God should be honoured thereby, 
and the church huilded; which condition, if it be left undone in any point, the title of the gift is 
lost, and so, consequently, the lord who gave the gift ought to correct and amend the fault, and 
excommunication ought not to stop or let the execution of justice. For so the clergy, by their 
excommunications provided for the same, might get into their hands the whole world. 

XVIII. " An ecclesiastical minister, and also the bishop of Rome," &c. The first part is evident ; 
forasmuch as every ecclesiastical brother, being in danger of sin, is consequently under the law of 
brotherly correction [Matt, xviii ], if he do offend against any man, having any possible oppor- 
tunity, he ought to correct him; and so, likewise, if he obstinately continue in any heretical 
opinion, or other grievous offence, tending to any spiritual hurt, or damage of the church; that, in 
such case, he ought to be complained of to the higher powers, to the intent that through his 
correction, the danger may be avoided : For so was Peter rebuked by St. Paul [Gal. ii.] ; and many 
unruly persons have been put down by emperors, as Castrensis, in his fifth book of Polychionicon, 
doth declare : " For the church is above the bishop." Therefore, to say that he ought not to be 
rebuked, or punished but only of God, what offence soever he hath committed, it seemeth to me to 


churcli singeth " Gloria patri," &c. " Nunc et in perpetuam;" I also, after Richard 
the same signification, do take here this word " perpetually," and so is this "■ 
conclusion consonant to the principles of the Scripture, that it is not in man's . „ 
power to ordain the course and voyage of the church, here perpetually to last. 1070' 

2. " God cannot give to any man," &'c. L 

To the second conclusion I answer, understanding civil dominion, as in the 

conclusion before. And so I hold, first, that God, by his ordinate power, cannot 
give to any person civil dominion here for ever. Secondly, that by his absolute 
power it is not probable that he will so do, forasmuch as he cannot ever detain 
his spouse in perpetual prison of this life, nor always defer the final beatitude 
of his church. 

3. To the third conclusion. " Many writings or charts invented by men, as 
touching perpetual heritage civil, be impossible." 

The verity of this conclusion is incident. For we must not canonize all 
manner of charts whatsoever as catholic or universal ; for then it were not 
lawful by any means to take away or sequester things given by chart or charter, 
when any doth unjustly occupy the same. And so if that stand confirmed and 
ratified by the faith of the church, great occasion thereby should be ministered to 
men so chartered, to ti-ust to their temporal charts ; and so might grow thereby 
nmch liberty and license to sin : for, like as by what supposition every truth 
is necessary, so by the same supposition every false thing is possible ; as is plain 
by the testimony of the Scripture, and of holy doctors speaking of necessity of 
things to come. 

4. " Every man being in grace justifying,' hath not only right unto 
the thing, but also for his time hath right indeed over all the good things of 

The verity hereof is evident, by holy Sciipture [Matt, xxiv.], where Verity 
promiseth to every man entering into his joy : " verily," saith he, " I tell you, 
he shall set and place him over all the goods he hath." For the right and title Here he 
belonging to the communion of saints in their country (he meaneth in the speaketu 
kingdom of heaven) : ^ " hath his relation, as unto his object, to all the goods the right 
and possession of God." of things 

5. " A man can only ministratoriously give any temporal dominion or gift c"unt™ 
perpetual, as well to his natural son, as to his son by imitation." to come, 

1 1 is evident. For every man ought to recognise himself in all his works and ""' '" *•*'* 
doings, as an humble servant and minister of God, as the words of Scripture 
do teach us : " Let a man so esteem of us as the ministers of Christ." Yea, so 
Christ himself did teach his chief apostles to minister ; but in their country the 
saints shall give unto their fellow brethren the dominion of their goods, ' Ut patet 
de suis corporibus et bonis eis inferioribus in natura,' according to the words of 
Luke vi. " They shall give you, and put into your bosoms a good measure and 
perfect, well filled and heaped up, and running over." 

6. " If God be, temporal lords may lawfully and meritoriously take awa)^ the 
goods of fortime from the chiu'ch when they do offend habitualiter." 

This conclusion is cori'elative with the first article of our faith : " I believe 
in God, the Father Almighty," &c. Where I understand this word " may " in 

infer that he should be above the church, the spouse of Christ. And Christ himself, albeit that he 
was without sin, yet wovdd he be subject unto the princes and rulers, even in the talcing away of 
his temporalties, as it appeareth in Matthew xvii. 

These conclusions (as I have said) are as the true seed of faith, separated from the chaff, whereby 
the unthankful cockle is enflamed and set on fire ; which, after it hath brought out the fire of most 
vile and unsavourj' shamefacedness and vengeance, it provideth food for Antichrist, contrary and 
against the holy Scriptures ; whereof this is an infallible sign : tliat there shall reign in the clergy, 
most pernicious and luciferous venom and pride, consisting in the greedy desire of domination and 
rule ; whose companion and wife, insatiable covetousness of earthly things, utterly extinguishing 
the children of the evangelical poverty, bringeth forth the children of the devil. A most certain 
token of this genealogy appeareth by this ; that many, even of the children of poverty, degenerating 
and going out of kind, do maintain, either by their words, or at least by their silence, the part of 
Lucifer ; not being able or willing, or at least not daring (for the seed of that man of sin which is 
sown in their hearts, or for some servile or bond fear for the loss of their temporalties) to stand to 
the defence of the poverty of the gospel. Thus far Wickliff. Our author then proceeds : — 

" These were the chief conclusions which Wickliff, at that present, exhibited unto the bishops, 
which being either not thoroughly read, or at least not well understood (I cannot tell by what 
means), suddenly they waxed very meek and gentle, and gi-anted him free liberty to depart." — See 
Latin Edition, Basle, 1559, pp. 8 — 12. Edition I5(i3, London, pp. 91—95. See these conclusions, 
also, in Vaughan's Life of Wickliff (Appendix to vol. i.), copied from MSS. Seldeni Archi. B. 10. — 

(1) " In gratia gratificante finaliter." — Ed. 

(2) " Fundatur objective supra un versitatem bonorima Dei." 


Richard this conclusion, after tlip manner of autlientic Scripture, wliich saith and 
il- granteth, " that (iod is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham;" 
for otherwise all christian princes were heretics. For upon this conclusion thus 
^''R' standeth the reason : If God be, he is omnipotent, and if he be Almighty, he 
' is able to command the lords temporal so to do: and if he may so command, 
then may they lawfully so take away such goods, &c. And so by the virtue of 
the same principle, christian princes have practised the said sentence upon the 
churchmen heretofore, as did William Rufus, &c. But God forbid that any 
should believe hereby my intention to have been, that secular lords may law- 
fully take away what goods soever, and by what means soever, by their own 
naked authority at their pleasure : but only by the authority of the church they 
may so do, in cases and form limited by the law. 

7. *' We know that it is not possible that the vicar of Christ is able by his 
pure bulls," &c. 

This is manifest by the catholic faith ; forasmucli as the church doth fully 
believe that the enabling of any man ought first to proceed and come of God; 
wherefore no man being Christ's vicar, hath any power in this matter, but only 
as vicar in the name of the Lord, so far forth as he is enabled of the Lord, to 
notify unto the church whom God hath enabled. Wherefore if any man do 
any thing, not as vicar in the name of the Lord, whom he ought to forethink 
to be his author and head, it is a presumption of Lucifer, forasmuch as Christ 
by his apostle saith [1 Cor. iii.], " all our ability or sufficiency cometh of God." 
And so consequently, it cometh not purely by the ministry of his vicarship, 
that he is enabled, bvit the ableness or unableness of him, being the vicar of 
Christ, cometh to him another way from above. 

8. *' A man cannot be excommunicated to his hurt or undoing, except he 
be excommunicated first and principally of himself." 

It is evident, forasmucli as all such excommunication ought to proceed and 
begin originally of his own sin which is damnified : whereupon Augustine saith, 
" De verbis Domini," sermone .51. " Do not thou conculcate thyself, and man 
overcometh thee not." And moreover the faith of the church doth teach, 
" Quod nulla ei nocebit adversitas, si nulla dominetur iniquitas :" that is to say, 
" No adversity shall hurt, if no iniquity hath the upper hand." And yet, 
notwithstanding, every excommunication for many causes is also to be feared, 
although the excommunication of the church, to the humble man being excom- 
municated, be not damnable but wholesome. 

9. " No man ought but in God"s cause alone to excommunicate, suspend," 

It is clear, forasmuch as every just cause is the cause of God, whose respect 
ought chiefly to be weighed and pondered. Yea, the love of the person excom- 
municated, ought to surmount the zeal of revengement and the desire of all 
temporal goods whatsoever ; for, otherwise, he that doth excommvmicate, doth 
damnify himself. To this ninth conclusion, notwithstanding, it is congiiient 
that a prelate may excommunicate in the cause also of man, so that his principal 
respect in so doing be had to the injiny done to his God, as appeareth 13, 
quffist. 4. " Inter querelas." 

10. " No curse or excommunication can bind simply, but in case it be given 
out against the adversary of Christ's law." 

And it appeareth thus, because that God doth bind simply every one that is 
bound, who cannot excommunicate but only for transgression of his law. 
Whereunto it is consonant notwithstanding, that the censure of the church doth 
not bind simply, but secondaiily in that case and respect, as it is denounced 
against the adversary of the members of the clmrch. 

11. " There is no example of Christ, which giveth power to his disciples to 
excommunicate any subject, especially for denying of any temporalties, but 

Which is thus declared by the faith, whereby we believe that God is to be 
beloved above all things, and our neighbour and enemy are to be beloved above 
all temporal goods of this world necessarily ; for the law of God cannot be 
contrary unto itself. 

12. " The disciples of Clnist have no power, by any civil coaction, to exact 
temporal things by their censures." 

This appeareth by the faith of the Scripture [L\ike xxiii.], where Christ did 


forbid his apostles ci\Tlly to reign or to bear any lordsliip. " The kings," saith Richaiii 
he, "of the Gentiles bear rule over them; but you not so." And after this ■^•^• 
sense it is expounded of St. Bernard, of St. Chrysostom, and other holy men : ~7~~r) 
which conclusion notwithstanding, yet may they exact temporal things by jo^o' 

ecclesiastical censures incidently, if case be that it appertain to the revenge- -. 1_ 

ment of their God. 

13. " It is not possible by the absolute power of God, that if the pope or any 
other Christian do pretend to bind or loose at their pleasure by what means 
soever, that thereby he doth so bind and loose." 

The contrary of this conclusion will destroy the whole catholic faith, importing 
no less than that he is a blasphemer, who thus usui-peth such absolute power of 
the Lord. And yet, by this conclusion, I intend not to derogate from the 
power of the pope, or of any other prelate of the church, but that he may, by 
the virtue of the head, so bind and loose ; but do understand the conditional of 
this negative to be impossible, after this sense, that it cannot be that the pope 
or any other prelate of the church can pretend, by himself, to bind or loose 
(how and after what manner he list himself), except in such sort, that he do 
indeed so bind and loose before God, as he doth pretend to do. 

14. " We ought to believe, that the vicar of Christ doth at such times only power of 
bind and loose, when he worketh conformably by the law and ordinance of all priests 
Christ" &c. - _ _ [?,r'^ 

The reason thereof is this, because otherwise it is unlawful for him so to do, equal, 
except he should do it in virtue of that law ; and so, consequently, unless it be 
conformable to the law and ordinance of Christ. 

15. To this conclusion, " This ought universally to be believed, that every 
priest rightly and duly ordered hath power according to his vocation," &c. 

The reason hereof is this, because the order of priesthood, in his own nature 
and substance, receiveth no such degrees, either of more or less. And yet, 
notwithstanding, the power of inferior priests in these days, is upon due con- 
sideration restrained, and sometimes again, in time of extreme necessity, 
released. And thus, according to the doctors, a prelate hath a double power, 
to wit, the power of order, and the power of jurisdiction or regiment. And 
according to this second power, the prelates are in a higher majesty and 

16. " It is lawfixl for princes and kings, in cases by the law limited, to with- 
draw temporal commodities from churchmen, abusing the same ' habitualiter.' " 

The reason thereof is plain, for that temporal lords ought rather to lean to 
spiritual alms, which bringeth with it great fruit, than to corporal alms; the 
case so standing, that sometimes it were a neeessan,' work of spiritual alms to 
chastise such clerks, by taking from them their temporal livings, who used to 
abuse the same, to the damnifj'ing both of their soul and body. The case 
which the law doth limit in this matter, were the defect of coiTecting his 
spiritual head, or else for lack of correcting the faith of the clerk who so 
ofTendeth, as appeareth, iQ. q. 7. " Filiis," dist. 40. cap. " Si Papa." 

17. " Whether they be temporal lords, or any other men whatsoever, who 
have endowed any church with temporalties," &c. 

The truth thereof is evidently seen, for that nothing ought to stop a man 
from the principal works of charity necessarily, because in every action and 
work of man is to be understood a pri\'y condition necessary of God, his good 
will concuiTing withal, as it is in the civil law de c. Conradi cap. o. in fine 
collat. X. And yet, God forbid, that by these words occasion should be given 
to the lords temporal to take away the goods of fortune from the church. 

1 8. " An ecclesiastical minister, yea, the bishop of Rome, may lawfully be 
rebuked by his subjects, and for the profit of the church be accused, either bv 
the clergy, or by the laity." 

Tlie proof of this is manifest hereby, because the said bishop of Rome is 
subject to fall into the sin against the Holy Ghost, as may be supposed, saving 
the sanctitude, humility, and reverence due to such a father. J^or so long as 
our brother is subject unto the infinnity of falling, he lieth under the law of 
brotherly correction. And when the whole college of cardinals may be slothful 
in ministering due correction for the necessary prosperity of the church, it is 
apparent that the residue of the body of the chm-ch, which possibly may stand 
most of laymen, may wholesomely correct the same, accuse, and bring him to 

vol.. III. c 


Richnrd a better way. The possibility of this case is touched, dist. 40. " Si Papa." 

^'- " If the pope do en- from the right faith," &'c. For as such a great fall ought 

~7~r\ not to be supposed in the lord pope without manifest evidence, so again, such 

-,0-0 a» obstinacy ought not to be supposed in him, possibly being fallen, but that 

1 !_ he will humbly receive the wholesome medicine of his superior, correcting him 

in the Lord ; the practice of which conclusion also is testified in many chro- 
nicles. Far be it from the church of Christ, that verity should be condemned 
which soundeth evil to transgi-essors and other slothful persons, for then the 
.whole faith of the Scripture were in a damnable case. 

Thus Jolin WicklifF, in giving his exposition unto his aforesaid 
propositions and conclusions, as is above prefixed, through the favour 
and diligence of the Londoners, either shifted off the bishops, or 
else satisfied them so, that for that time he was dismissed, and 
escaped clearly away, only being charged and commanded by them, 
that he should not teach or preach any such doctrine any more, for 
the offence of the lay people. 

Thus this good man, being escaped fi-om the bishops with this 

charge, yet, notwithstanding, ceased not to proceed in his godly 

purpose, labouring and profiting still in the church as he had begun ; 

AD. 1378. to whom also, as it happened by the providence of God, this likewise 

was a great help and stay, that in the same year, or in the beginning 

Death of of the year following, the aforesaid pope Gregory XL, who was the 

Ko?y XL stirrer up of all this trouble against him, turned up his heels and 

A schism died. After liira ensued such a schism in Rome, between tAvo 

ome. pppgg^ ^^^^ others succeeding them, one striving against another, 

that it endured the space of thirty-nine years, until the time of the 

Council of Constance, (a.d. 1414.) 

The first occasioner of that schism, was pope Urban VL, who in 
the beginning of his popedom was so proud and insolent to his 
cardinals, and others (as to dukes, princes, and queens), and so set 
to advance his nephews and kindred, with injuries to other princes, 
that the greatest nimnber of his cardinals and courtiers, by little and 
little, shrunk from him, and set up another French pope against him, 
named Clement, who reigned eleven years ; and after him Bene- 
dict XIIL, who reigned twenty-six years. Again, on the contrary 
side, after Urban VL succeeded Boniface IX., Innocent VIII. , 
Gregory XIL, Alexander V., John XXIIL (a.d. 1410.)' 

As touching this pestilent and most miserable schism, it would 
require here another Iliad to comprehend in order all the circum- 
stances and tragical parts thereof, what trouble in the whole church, 
what parts taking in every country, what apprehending and impri- 
soning of priests and prelates taken by land and sea, what shedding 
of blood did follow thereof. How Otho, duke of Brunswick and 
•vas not prince of Tarentvim, was^ taken and murdered: liow Joan, his \vife, 
joTiy^ queen of Jerusalem and Sicily, who before had sent to pope Urban, 
ment? b^sidcs Other gifts at his coronation, forty thousand ducats in pure 
gold, was, afterwards, by the said Urban, committed to prison, and 
in the same prison strangled : what cardinals were racked, and 

(1) POPES. 

Urban VI. ruled 11 yrs. 8 mo. 

Boniface IX 14 9 

Innocent VIII 2 

Gregory XII. 2 7 

Alexander V II 

JohnXXlIl 5 10 


Clement ruled ........ 1 1 yrs. 

Benedict XIII 2* 

JACK straw's rebellion. 19 

miserably, without all raercv, tormented on (>^ibbets to death : Vnat Rtckard 
slaughter of men, what battles were fought between the two popes, " 
wherein five thousand men on one side were slain, beside the number a.D. 
of them who were taken prisoners : of the beheading of five cardinals 1380. 
together after long torments, and how the bishop of Aquilonensis, 
being suspected by pope Urban, for not riding faster with the pope, 
his horse being not good, was there slain by the pope''s command- 
ment, sending his soldiers to him to slay him, and cut him in pieces. 
All these things, with divers other acts of horrible cruelty, happening 
in the time of this abominable schism, because they are abundantly 
discoursed at full by Theodricus Niemus,^ who was near to the said 
pope Urban, and present at all his doings ; therefore, as a thing 
needless, I here omit ; referring those who covet to be certified more 
amply herein, unto the three books of the said Thcodric, above 

About the same time also, some three years after, there arose a jack 
cruel dissension in England, between the common people and the febeiTion. 
nobility, which did not a little disturb and trouble the common- 
wealth. In this tumult Simon of Sudbury, archbishop of Canter- simon, 
bury, was taken by the rustic and rude people, and was beheaded ; b^s'iiop,'^ 
in whose place succeeded ^V'illiam Courtney, who was no less ^f^^^^' 
diligent than his predecessor had been before him, in doing his 
diligence to root out heretics. Notwithstanding, in the mean season, 
Wickliflfs sect increased privily, and daily drew to greater force, 
until the time that William Barton, vice-chancellor of Oxford, 
about A.D. 1880, had the whole rule of that university: who calling a.d.isso, 
together eight monastical doctors, and four others, with the consent 
of the rest of his affinity, putting the common seal of the university 
unto certain waitings, set forth an edict, declaring unto every man, 
and threatening them under a grievous penalty, that no man should Edict 
be so hardy hereafter, to associate himself with any of WicklifF's ^^ewick- 
abettors or favourers : and unto WicklifF himself he threatened the liffites. 
greater excommunication, and further imprisonment, and to all his 
abettors, unless that after three days canonical admonition or warning, 
or as they call it, peremptory, they did repent and amend. When 
WicklifF understood this, forsaking the pope and all the clergy, he 
thought to appeal unto the king's majesty ; but the duke of 
Lancaster coming between, forbade him, that he should not here- 
after attempt or begin any such matters, but rather submit himself 
unto the censure and judgment of his ordinary. Whereby Wickliff, 
being beset with troubles and vexations, as it were in the midst of 
the waves, was forced once again to make confession of his doctrine ; 
in which his confession, to avoid the rigour of things, he answered as 
is aforesaid, making his declaration, and qualifying his assertions after 
such a sort, that he did mitigate and assuage the rigour of his 

The year after (a.d. 1382), by the commandment of William, ad. 1332 
archbishop of Canterbury, there was a convocation holden at London, 
where John WicklifF was also commanded to be present ; but 
whether he there appeared personally or not, I find it not in story 

(I) Thcodoricus Niemus, "Do Schismate." 

c 2 

20 Courtney's manuatk respecting heresv, 

Richard certainly affirmed. The mandate of the archbishop, William 

^^' Courtney, sent abroad for the convcnting together of his council, 

A. D. here followeth underwritten, truly copied out of his own registers. 

Mandate of Archbishop Courtney respecting Heresy. 

Memorandum. — Whereas amongst the nobles as well as commons of this realm 

of England, there hath a certain iiimonr been spread of divers conclusions both 

erroneous, and also repugnant to the detei-mination of the church, which tend to 

the subvei-sion of the whole chm-ch, and to our province of Canterbury, and also 

to the subversion of the whole realm, being preached in divers and sundry places 

of our said province, generally, commonly, and publicly : We William, by 

God's permission archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and 

legate of the see apostolical, being minded to execute our office and duty 

herein, have convocated or called together certain of our fellow brethren and 

others a great many, as well doctors and bachelors of divinity, as doctors of the 

canon and civil law, and those whom we thought to be the most famous men, 

skilfullest men, and men of soundest judgment in religion, that were in all the 

realm, whose names hereunder ensue. And the same being (the seventeenth 

day of the month of May, in the year of our Lord 1,382,) in a certain chamber 

within the territories of the priory of the friars preachers of London, before us 

and our aforesaid fellow brethren assembled, then and there personally present : 

after that the said conclusions (the tenor whereof hereunder ensueth) were 

opelny put forth, and distinctly and plainly read, we burdened our aforesaid 

fellow brethren, doctors and bachelors, in the faith wherein they stood bound 

to our Lord Jesus Christ, and as they would answer before the High Judge in 

the day of judgment, that they should speak their opinions touching the said 

conclusions, and what each of them thinketh therein. 

Certain of And at length, after good deliberation had upon the premises, the aforesaid 

Wickliff's oyj. brethren the bishops, doctors, and bachelors reassembled before us the 

sicms^ro- twenty-first day of the same month in the aforesaid chamber, the aforesaid 

iiounced conclusions being again and again repeated and plainly read ; by us, and by 

to be he- ^^ common consent of us all, it remaineth published and declared, that some 

others'er- of the said conclusions are heretical, and others erroneous and contrary to the 

roneous. determination of 'the church, as hereafter most manifestly shall appear. And, 

forasmuch as by sufficient information we find and perceive, that the said 

conclusions in many places of our said province have been, as is said, both 

taught and preached ; and that divers other persons do hold and maintain the 

same, and be of heresy vehemently and notoriously suspected, we have thought 

good, as well generally as specially, to send out this process underwritten, &c. 

Names of The namcs of the jurors were these : — Eight bishops : Canterbury, 
to whom' Winchester, Durham, Exeter, Hereford, Sarum, Rochester, and friar 
they were Botlcsham, bishop : Three friars preachers : Siward, Paris, Langley. 
Four minorites : Folvile, Carlel, Frisley, Bernwell. Augustine friars, 
four : Ashborne, Bowkin, Woldley, Hornington. Carmelites four : 
Glanvile, Dis, Loney, Kiningham. Monks four : Wells, Ramsey, 
Bloxam, Marton. Doctors of the canon and civil law fourteen : 
Appelby, Waltram, Baketon,Chadesden,Tregision, Stow, Blanchard, 
Rocombey, Lidford, Welbourne, Flainburgh, Motrum, Brandon, 
and Prophet. Bachelors of divinity six: Humbleton, Pickwech, 
Lindlow, Wich, Chiselden, Tomson. 

The articles of John WicklifF here above specified, whereof there 
were nine which were by these friars condemned as heretical, the rest 
as erroneous, here in order follow, are are these : although it may 
be thought, that some of them were made worse by their sinister 
collecting than he meant thm in his own works and wTitings. 


Articles of John Wickliff, condemned as Heretical. Richard 

1. That the substance of material bread and wine doth remain in the 
sacrament of the altar after the consecration. 

2. That the accidents do not remain without tbf subject in the same sacra- 
ment, after the consecration. 

3. That Christ is not in the sacrament of the altar truly and really, in his 
proper and cor|5oral person. 

4. That if a bishop or a priest be in deadly sin, he doth not order, conse- 
crate, or baptize. 1 

5. That if a man be duly and truly contrite and penitent, all exterior and 
outward confession is but superfuous and unprofitable unto him. 

6. That God ought to obey the devil. ^ 

7. That it is not found or established by the gospel, that Christ did make or 
ordain mass. 

8. That if the pope be a reprobate and evil man, and consequently a member 
of the devil, he hath no power by any manner of means given unto him over 
faithftd Christians, except peradventure it be given him by the emperor. 

9. That since the time of Urban VI. there is none to be received for pope, 
but every man is to live after the manner of the Greeks, under his own law. 

10. That it is against the sacred Scripttu-e, that ecclesiastical ministers should 
have any temporal possessions.* 

Other Articles of John Wickliff, condemned as En-oneous. 

11. That no prelate ought to excommunicate any man except he know him 
first to be excommunicate of God. 

12. That he who doth so excommunicate any man, is thereby liimself either 
a heretic or excommunicated. 

13. That a prelate or bishop excommunicating any of the clergy, who hatli 
appealed to the king or the council, is thereby himself a traitor to the king and 

14. That all who do leave off preaching or hearing the word of God, or 
preaching the gospel, for fear of excommunication, are already excommunicated, 
and in the day of judgment shall be counted as traitors unto God. 

15. That it is lawful for any man, either deacon or priest, to preach the word 
of God without authority or license of the apostolic see or any other of its 

16. That so long as a man is in deadly sin, he is neither bishop nor prelate 
in the church of God.* 

17. Also that the temporal lords may, according to their own will and 
discretion, take away the temporal goods from the churchmen whensoever 
they do offend.* 

18. That tenths are pure alms, and that the parishioners may, for offence of 
their curates, detain and keep them back, and bestow them upon others, at 
their own will and pleasure. 

19. Also, that all special prayers applied to any private or particular person, 
by any prelate or religious man, do no more profit the same person, than 
general or universal prayers do profit others, who be in like case or state unto 

20. That he that giveth alms to tlie friars, or to any friar that preacheth, is 
excommunicate, both he that giveth and he that taketh. 

21. Moreover, if any man doth enter into any private religion, whatsoever it 
be, he is thereby made the more unapt and unable to observe and keep the 
commandments of God. 

(1) Id est, " indigne hsc fecit," exposit Joan. Huss. Lat. Ed. p. 26. — Ed. 

(2) Jhis article is either slanderously reported, or else can hardly be defended. [This sixth 
article is inserted from the Latin Edition, p. 26. "Deus debet obedire diabolo," to which our author 
attaches a side-note, " Caluinniam sapit. ' It is also referred to in a subsequent page. — Ed.] 

(3) He meaneth church goods not to be so peculiar to ministers, but that tjiey may be taken 
away if they so deserve. 

(iy Hunc articuium explanat et emoUit Joan. Huss. Lat. Ed. p. 26. — Ed. 

(5) This article, peradventure, was not so straightly meant of him as it was gathered of them, 
as is aforesaid. 

(6) This article expoundeth the 10th article above. [" Forte aiiversarii depravant articulum." 
See the LaJin Edition, p. 26.— Ed.] 


22 ARcniiisHop Courtney's letter against wickliff. 



Richard 22. Tliat holy men, who have instituted private religions, whatsoever they 
l^- be (as well such as are endowed and possessed, as also the order of begging 
friars having no possessions), in sn doing, have grievously offended. 

23. That religious men, being in their private religions, are not of the 
Christian religion. 

24. That friars are bound to get their living be the labour of their hands, 
and not by begging. 

A Letter of William Courtney, Archbishop of Canterbury, directed 
to the Bis^jop of London, against John Wickliff and his Adherents. 

William, by God's permission archbishop of Canterbury, metropolitan of all 
England, and of the apostolical see, legate ; to our reverend brother, by the 
grace of God, bishop of London, salutation. The prelates of the church ought 
to be so much the more vigilant and attentive about the charge of the Lord's 
flock committed to them, by how much the more they shall understand the 
wolves, being clothed in sheep's apparel, fraudulently to go about to worry and 
scatter the sheep. Truly, by the continual cry and public fame, which it 
grieveth me to report, it is come to our knowledge, that although, by the cano- 
nical sanctions, no man being forbidden or not admitted, should either publicly 
or privately, without the authority of the apostolical see, or bishop of that place, 
usurp or take upon him the office of a preacher ; some, notwithstanding, such 
as are the children of damnation, being under the veil of bhnd ignorance, are 
brouglit into such a doating mind, that they take upon them to preach, and are 
not afraid to affirm and teach divers and sundry propositions and conclusions, 
here-under recited, both heretical, erroneous, and false, condemned by the 
church of God, and repugnant to the decree of holy church, which tend to the 
subverting of the whole state of the same, of our province of Canterburj-, and 
to the destruction and weakening of the tranquillity of the same ; and that as 
well in the churches, as in the streets, as also in many other profane places of 
our said province, generally, commonly, and publicly, they do preach the same, 
infecting very many good Christians, causing them lamentably to wander out 
of the way, and from the catholic church, without which there is no salvation. 
We, therefore, considering that so pernicious a mischief, which may creep 
amongst many, we ought not to suffer, and by dissimidation to pass over, which 
may with deadly contagion slay the souls of men, lest their blood be required 
at our hands, are willing, so much as God will permit us to do, to extirpate the 
same. Wherefore, by the counsel and consent of many of our brethren and 
suffragans, we have convented divers and sundry doctors of divinity, as also 
professoi-s and other clerks of the canon and civil law, the most learned within 
the realm, and of the soundest opinion and judgment in the catholic faith, to 
give their opinions and judgments concerning the aforesaid conclusions. But, 
forasmuch as the said conclusions and assertions, being in the presence of us 
and our fellow-brethren and other convocates openly expounded and diligently 
Had ye examined, and in the end, found by the common council and consent as well 
tried of them as of us, and so declared that some of those conclusions were heretical, 
tileTrufh ^^^ some of them erroneous, and repugnant to the determination of the church, 
you as here-under are described : we will and command your brotherhood, and, by 

should virtue of holy obedience, sti-aitly enjoin all and singular our brethren and 
found suffi-agans of our body and church of Canterbury, that with all speedy diligence 
them you possibly can, you likewise enjoin them, as we have enjoined you, and each 
wise!" °^ them ; and that every one of them, in their churches and other places of 
their city and diocese, do admonish and warn ; and that you, in your church 
and other churches of your city and diocese, do admonish and warn, as we, by 
the tenor of these presents, do admonish and warn the first time, the second time, 
and the third time ; and yet more straitly do warn, assigning for the first admo- 
nition one day, for the second admonition another day, and for the third admo- 
nition, canonical and peremptory, another day : That no man from henceforth, 
of what estate or condition soever, do hold, preach, or defend the aforesaid here- 
sies and errors, or any of them ; or that he admit to preach any one that is 
prohibited or not sent to preach, or that he hear or hearken to the heresies or 
eiTors of him or any of them, or that he favour or lean unto him, either publicly 
or privately ; but that immediately he shun him, as he would avoid a serpent 


putting forth most pestiferous poison, under pain of the greater curse, which Ruhcrd 
we coinmand to be thundered against all and every one who shall be disobedient ^'■ 
in this behalf, and not regarding these our monitions, after those three days be ~7~T7~ 
past which are assigned for the canonical monition, and that their delay, fault, V^^i^' 
or oifence committed, require the same : and tlien, according to the tenor of 
these writings, we command, both by every one of our fellow-brethren and our 
suffragans in their cities and dioceses, and by you in your city and diocese (as 
much as belongeth both toyou and them), that to the uttermost both ye and they 
cause the same excommunications to be pronounced. 

And, furthermore, we will and command our aforesaid fellow-brethren, and all He that 
and singular of you apart by ourselves, to be admonished, and by the aspersion '^'"'^''} 
of the blood of Jesus Christ, we likewise admonish you, tliat, according to the thili'khe 
institution of the sacred canons, every one of them in his cit}' and diocese, be ''"tli God 
a diligent inquisitor of this lieretical pravity ; and that every one of you also in service 
your city and diocese be the like inquisitor of the aforesaid lieretical pravity. 
And that of such like presumption they and you carefully and dihgently inquire, 
and that both they and you (according to your duties and office in this behalf), 
with effect do proceed against the same, to the honour and praise of His name 
that was crucified, and for the preservation of the christian faith and religion.' 

Here is not to be passed over the great miracle of God's divine 
admonition or warning; for when the archbishop and suffragans, with 
the other doctors of divinity and lawyers, with a great company of 
babbling friars and religious persons, were gathered together to con- 
sult as touching John Wickliffs books, and that whole sect; when, 
as I say, they were gathered together at the Grey-Friars in London, 
to begin their business, upon St. Dunstan's day after dinner, about 
two of the clock, the very hour and instant that they should go for- 
ward with their business, a wonderful and terrible earthquake- fell An earth- 
throughout all England :^ whereupon divers of the suffragans, being '^^^^' 
feared by the strange and wonderful demonstration, doubting what wickiiff 
it should mean, thought it good to leave off from their determinate amined. 
purpose. But the archbishop (as chief captain of that army, more 
rash and bold than wise) interpreting the chance which had happened 
clean contrary to another meaning or purpose, did confirm and 
strengthen their hearts and minds, who were almost daunted with 
fear, stoutly to proceed and go forward in their attempted enterprise : 
who then discoursing WicklifF's articles, not according to the sacred 
canons of the holy Scriptures, but to their own private affections and 
traditions, pronounced and gave sentence, that some of them were 
simply and plainly heretical, some half erroneous, some irreligious, 
others seditious, and not consonant to the church of Rome. *Besides,* 
the earthquake aforesaid, there happened another strange and won- 
derfiil chance, sent by God, and no less to be marked than the other, 
if it be true, which was reported by John Huss's enemies. These 
enemies of his, amongst other principal points of his accusation, ob- 
jected and laid this to his charge at the Council of Constance ; that 
he had said openly unto the people, that at what time, as a great 
number of religious men and doctors were gathered together in a 
certain church, to dispute against WicklifF, suddenly, the door of the 
church was broken open with lightning, in such sort, that his enemies 
hardly escaped without hurt. This thing, albeit that it was objected 

(1) Yea, rather, for the hono\ir of your pope, and the destruction of christian faith. 

(2) The Godstow Chronicle tells us, " that this earthquake was on the Wednesday before \M\\i- 
Sunday, or Slay 30, about one o'clock in the afternoon." See Lewis' Hist. p. 332. — Ed. 

(3) Ei Chron. mon. Aiban. 

.;4) For this passage, see edition 1563, pp. 95, 96. — En. 


Richard against Huss by his adversaries (neither is it in the story of WicklifF, 
^ • that I can find or know), yet, forasmuch as he did not deny the same, 
A.D. neither, if lie so said, doth it seem that he would speak it without 
^'^^^- some ground or reason, I have not thought good to leave it clean out 
of memory. Of like credit is this also,' which is reported of Wick- 
lifF (which thing I here write but only of report), that when WicklifF 
was lying very sick at London, certain friars came to him to counsel 
him ; and when they had babbled much unto him, as touching the 
catholic church, and of acknowledging his errors, and of the bishop 
of Rome ; WicklifF, being moved with the foolishness and absurdity 
of their talk, with a stout stomach, setting himself upright in his 
bed, repeated this saying out of the Psalms, [cxviii. 17] : " I will 
not die, but I shall live, and show forth and declare the noble works 
of the Lord ;" which thing, if it be so true, as it is reported of 
some, it doth declare and show a great fervency and desire of the spirit 
in that man, passing and above the common state of our human 
nature and infirmity.^* 


On the twelfth day of June, a. d. 1382, in the chamber of the 
friars preachers, the aforesaid master Robert Rigges, chancellor of the 
university of Oxford, and Thomas Brightwell, professors of divinity, 
being appointed the same day and place, by the aforesaid reverend 
father in God, the archbishop of Canterbury, appeared before him in 
the presence of the reverend father in God, lord William, by the grace 
of God, bishop of Winchester, and divers other doctors and bachelors of 
divinity, and of the canon and civil law, whose names are before recited. 
And first, the said chancellor, by the lord archbishop of Canterbury, 
being examined what his opinion was touching the aforesaid articles, 
publicly affirmed and declared, that certain of those conclusions were 
heretical, and certain erroneous, as the other doctors and clerks before 
mentioned had declared. And then immediately next after him, the 
aforesaid Thomas Brightwell was examined, who, upon some of the 
conclusions at first somewhat staggered, but, in the end, being by the 
said archbishop diligently examined upon the same, did affirm and 
repute the same to be heretical and erroneous, as the aforesaid chan- 
cellor had done. Another bachelor of divinity, also, there was, named 
N., who stammered at some of those conclusions, but in the end he 
affirmed that his opinion therein was, as was the judgment of the 
aforesaid chancellor and Thomas Brightwell, as is above declared. 
Whereupon the said lord archbishop of Canterbury, willing to let 
and hinder the peril of such heresies and errors, delivered unto the 
aforesaid chancellor, there being publicly read, his letters-patent to be 
executed, the tenor whereof in these words doth follow. 

A Letter of William Courtney, Archbishop of Canterbury, to the 
Chancellor of Oxford, against WicklifF and his Adherents. 

William, by the gi-ace of God archbishop of Canterbuiy, primate of all 
England, and legate of the apostolic see, to our well-beloved son in Christ, the 

(1) Also in the Latin edition of 1559, p. 13.— Ed. 

(2) In Lewis's History.p. 64, another version of this account Is given, which has been repeated by 
many writers on the reformers, to the rejection of this more natural, sober, and cliaracteristic 


chancellor of the university of Oxford, within the diocese of Lincoln, greeting, Richard 
grace, and benediction. The prelates of the chiircii, about the Lord's flock ^^■ 
committed to tlieir charge, ought to be so nuieli more vigilant as that they see _ " 

the wolf, clothed in sheep's attire, fraudulently go about to worry and scatter /.jon' 

the sheep. Doubtless, the common fame ami nunour is come to our ears, &c. 1 

(See tlie ])receding mandate of the archbislio]). ) We will, tlierefore, and com- 
mand, straitly enjoining you, that in the church of our blessed lady in Oxford, 
upon those days in which accustomably the sermon is made, as also in the 
schools of the said university u])on those days the lectures be read, ye publish, 
and cause by others to be published, to tlie clergy and people, as well in their 
vulgar tongue, as in the Latin tongue, manifestly and plainly, without any 
curious implication, the same heretical and erroneous conclusions, so repugnant 
to the determination of holy church, as is aforesaid, to have been and be con- 
demned ; which conclusions we also declare by these our letters to be utterly 
condenmed. And furthermore that you forbid, and canonically admonish and 
cause to be admonislied, as we by the tenor of these ])resents do forbid and 
admonish you, once, twice, and thrice, and that peremptorily, that none here- 
after hold, teach, and preach, or defend, the heresies and errors above said, or 
any of them, either in scliool or out of school, by any sophistical cavilling or 
otherwise : or that any admit to preacli, hear, or hearken unto John Wicklifl", 
Nicholas Herford, Pliilip Reppington (canon regular), John Ashton, or Law- 
rence Redman, who be vehemently and notoriously suspected of heresy, or else 
any other whatsoever, so suspected or defamed ; or that either privately or pub- 
licly they either aid or favour them or any of them, but that innnediately they 
shun and avoid the same as a-seqjent which putteth forth uu)st pestiferous poison. 
And, furtlun-more, we suspend the said suspected persons from all scholastical 
act, till such time as they shall purge themselves before us in that behalf; and 
we enjoin that you denounce the same publicly by us to have been and be sus- 
pended ; and that ye diligently and faithfully inquire for all their abettors and 
favourers, and cause to be iiupiired throughout all the halls of the said univer- Make 
sity ; and that when you shall have intelligence of their names and persons, ye sure 
compel all and every of them to abjure their outrages by ecclesiastical censures ^'^''^'■ 
and other pains canonical whatsoever, under pain of the greater curse, which, 
against all and singular the rebellious in this behalf, and disobeying our monitions, 
we pronounce : so that their fault, deceit, and offence in this behalf deserve 
the same (the said monition of ours being first sent), which in this behalf we 
esteem and allow canonical ; that then and again, according to the effect of these 
our letters, &c., the absolution of all and singular such, who shall incur the 
sentence of this instrument by us sent forth (which God forbid), we specially 
reserve unto ourselves ; exhorting you, tlie chancellor, by the sprinkling of the 
blood of Jesus Christ, that to the uttermost" of your power hereafter you do your 
endeavour, that the clergy and people being subject unto you, if there be any who 
have strayed from the catholic faith by such errors, they may be brought home 
again to the laud and honour of His name that was crucified, and to the preserva- 
tion of the true faith. And further our will is, that whatsoever you shall no in the 
premises, in manner and form of our process in this behalf it be had and done; 
and that you, for your part, when you shall be required theretmto, plainly and 
distinctly do certify us by your letters patent, having the tenor hereof. 

The conclusions and articles here mentioned in this letter are 
above prefixed ; of which some were condemned for heretical, some 
for erroneous. 

After this, within a few days, the aforesaid archbishop William 
Courtney directed down his letters of admonition to Robert Rigges, 
commissary of Oxford, for the repressing of this doctrine ; Avhich 
still notwithstanding, both then, and yet to this day (God be praised) 
doth remain : the copy of his monition to the commissary here, out of 
his own register, followeth. 

story from Foxe's own pen. The point of difference in Lewis's History, quoted from Bale, p. 469, 
is this: " Dr. Wickliff immediately recovering strength, called his servants to him, and ordered 
them to raise him a little on his pillows, which, when they had done, he said with a loud voice, ' I 
shall not die, but live, and declare the evil deeds of the friars ;' on which the doctors, &c. de- 
parted ftom him i)i confusion, and Doctor Wickliff recovered." — Ed. 


it- The Monition of William Courtney, Archbishop of Canterbury, unio 
^ £) the aforesaid Chancellor of Oxford. 

In the name of God, Amen. Whereas we William, by the permission of 
God archbishop of Canterbury, lord primate of England, and legate of the 
apostolical see, by the consent of our sufl'ragans, have caused to be assembled 
together divers clerks both secidar and regular of the university of Oxford, 
within our province of Canterbury, and other catholic persons, to inform us of 
and upon certain conclusions heretical and erroneous, generally and commonly 
preached and published in divers places of the said province of Canterbury, to 
the subversion of the whole state of the church and our said province : and 
whereas after mature deliberation had upon the same, by the common council 
of the said our suffragans and their convocates, it was declared, that certain of 
the said conclusions have been and be condemned, some for heretical, and some 
for erroneous, and notoriously repugnant to the determination of the chui'ch, 
which we also ourselves have declared to be damnable : and whereas we have 
understood by credible information, and partly by experience, that thou Robert 
Rigges, chancellor of the university aforesaid, hast and dost inchne partly to 
the aforesaid damnable conclusions, whom also we in this part have partly sus- 
pected, and dost intend to molest these pur clerks above specified, and others 
adhering unto us in this behalf as they ought to do, through thy subtle and 
sophistical imaginations, sundry and manifold ways ; therefore, we admonish 
thee master Robert, chancellor aforesaid, the first, second, and third time, and 
peremptorily, that thou dost not grieve, let, or molest, judicially or extra-judi- 
cially, apertly or privily, or cause to be grieved, let, and molested, or procure 
directly or indirectly by thyself or any other, as much as in thee lieth to be 
grieved, the aforesaid clerks secular or regidar, or such as favour them in the 
premises, in their scholastical acts, or in any other condition whatsoever ; and 
that thou suffer none hereafter to teach, maintain, preach, or defend any sucli 
heresies or errors in the said universit)^, either within or without the schools ; 
neither that thou do admit John Wickliff, Nicholas Herford, Philip Reppington. 
John Ashton, or Lawrence Redman, who are vehemently and notoriously sus- 
pected of heresy, or any other so suspected or defamed, unto the office of 
preaching ; but that thou denoimce the said persons to be suspended, whom we 
have suspended from all scholastical act, until they clear their innocency in this 
part before us, under pain of the greater curse, which we here in these 
writings denounce against thy person, if thou shalt not obey those our admoni- 
tions with effect, as thy crime, subtlety and offence in this behalf shall require 
according to this our admonition premised ; which we repute in this part for 
canonical, as well then, as now, and now as well as then ; reserving the abso- 
lution of this sentence excommunicatory, if it happen to light upon thee (as 
God forbid) specially imto ourselves. — Testified with the hands of the jurors, 
before specified, (p. 20.) 


The eighteenth day of the month and year aforesaid (a.d. 1382), 
in the chamber of the preaching friars before-mentioned, before the 
aforesaid archbishop, in the presence of divers doctors and bachelors 
of divinity, and many lawyers both canon and civil, whose names are 
underwritten, appeared master Nicholas Herford, Philip Reppington, 
and John Ashton, bachelors of divinity, who, after a corporal oath 
taken to show their judgment upon the conclusions aforesaid, were 
examined severally, each one by himself, before the archbishop ; who 
there required day and place to deliberate upon the conclusions afore- 
said, and to give their answer unto the same in writing, and also required 
to have a copy of the said conclusions to be delivered unto them, which 
copy being openlyread unto them, tlie said Nicholas and Philip received. 


The aforesaid master JolmAsliton likewise was examined, and judicially Richard 

admonislied by the said archbishop, by virtue of his oath, that he, '. 

setting aside all sophistical w\)rds and subtleties, would say his mind A. D. 
fully and plainly upon the conclusions aforesaid. And being asked, ^'^^— 
moreover, by the said archbishop, w^hether he would have a further Joi>nAsh 
day to deliberate upon his answers, as the aforesaid Nicholas and amined. 
Philip had before, he said expressly that he would not, but would an- 
swer then to those co'nclusions ; and so, for final answer said, as con- Answer 
concerning all these conclusions (taking them all together), that his ^^shton! 
judgment was in this respect to hold his peace. Wherefore the 
aforesaid archbishop, reputing the said John herein to be suspected, 
admonished him in form of words as followcth : " We admonish 
thee, John Ashton, whom we repute to be defamed, and notoriously 
suspected of heresy, the first, the second, and third time ; that in 
our province of Canterbury hereafter thou do not preach publicly 
or privately without our special license, under pain of the greater 
curse, which we denounce here by these presents against thy person, 
if thou obey not our monitions, for now as for then." And conse- 
quently, forasmuch as the said John, being asked of the archbishop, 
confessed that he had heard before of the publication of the arch- 
bishop's mandate, wherein was contained that no person prohibited or 
not sent should preach hereafter, the aforesaid archbishop assigned him Ashton 
the Friday next following, which was the twentieth day of the same fsh^,""' 
month, after dinner, to appear l)elore him either at Lambeth, or in ^sain to 
the same place, to say for himself wherefore he might not be pro- 
nounced for a heretic, and for such a one to be denounced throughout 
his whole province. Also the said archbishop assigned to the afore- 
said Nicliolas and Philip, the said day and place to answer peremp- 
torily and to say fully and plainly to the conclusions aforesaid, all 
sophistication of words and disputation set apart. 

The names of the friars that sat upon them. — Friars Preachers, 
seven : Thomas Barnewell, William Swinherd, William Piclovorth, 
Thomas Whately, Lawrence Grenliam, John Leigh, John Haker, 
Canuelites three : Walter Dish, John Kiningham, John Lovey. 
Augustine friar : Thomas Ashbome, doctor. 

At the time and place above prefixed, before the aforesaid arch- 
bishop, sitting in his tribunal seat, in the presence of divers doctors 
of divmity, and lawyers both civil and canon, personally appeared 
master Nicholas Herford, and Philip Reppington, bachelors ofiierford 
divinity, and John Ashton, master of arts. The aforesaid Nicholas ll%fj,f 
and Philip, being required by the archbishop to answer there, and appear, 
say fully and phiinly their judgment upon the conclusions prefixed 
(to which purpose the archbishop had assigned to the said Nicholas 
and Philip the same term), did exhibit to the archbishop, there 
judicially sitting, certain answers in Avriting, after the manner of 
indenture. The tenor of this indenture, containing the aforesaid 
conclusions, followeth in these words : 





with the 

The Protestation of Nicholas Herford, Philip Reppington, and John 
Ashton, with their Articles and Answers. 

We protest here as before, publicly, in these presents, that we intend to be 
humble and faitlifid tliildren to the church and holy Scripture, and to obey in aJl 
thino-s the determinations of the church. And if it shall chance to us at any 
time, whii'h God forbid, to swerve from this our intention, we submit ourselves 
humbly to the correction of our reverend father, lord archbishop of Canterbury, 
and prinuite of all England ; and of all others who have interest to correct 
such swervcrs. This protestation premised, thus we answer to the conclusions 

" That the substance of material bread and wine remaineth in the sacrament 
of the altar after consecration." 

After the sense contrary to the decretal, beginning " Firmiter credimus :" — 
We grant that it is heresy. 

" That the accidents do not remain without the subject after consecration 
of the sacrament." 

After the sense contrary to that decretal, " Cum Marthe :" — We grant that it 
is heresy. 

" That Christ is not in the sacrament of the altar tndy and really in his own 
corporal presence." 

Although this conclusion, as the words stand, sounds to be probable and intel- 
ligible, yet in the sense contrary to the decretal in Cle : " Si dudum," we 
grant that it is heresy. And, briefly, concerning this whole matter of the sacra- 
ment of the altar, as touching also all other things, we profess that we will, 
both in word and sense, hold with the holy Scripture, with the determination of 
the holy church, and with the sayings of the holy doctors. 
, " Obstinately to affirm that it hath no foundation in the gospel, that Christ 
ordained the mass :" — We grant that it is heresy. 

" That God ought to obey the devil." 

In this sense, that God in his own person or essence, ought to obey the devil 
with the obedience of necessity : — We grant that it is heresy. 

" If a man be duly contrite, that all external confession is to him superfluous 
and unprofitable :" — We grant that it is heresy. 

" If the pope be a reprobate, and an evil man, and consequently a member 
of the devil, he hath no powder over the faithful of Christ given to nim by any, 
unless it be by Ca?sar :" — We grant that it is heresy. 

"That after pope Urban Vl. none is to be received for pope ; but that we 
ought to live after the manner of the Grecians, under our own laws:" — We 
grant that it is heresy. 

" That it is against the holy Scripture for ecclesiastical persons to have 
temporal possessions:" — If obstinacy be joined withal, we grant that it is 

" That no prelate ought to excommunicate any man, unless he know him 
before to be excommunicated of God :" — We grant that it is an error ; imder- 
standing this knowledge to signify an experimental knowledge ; so that here- 
with may stand the decree of the church, 11 q. 3, " Nemo Episco." 

" That he who doth so excommunicate, is thereby an heretic, or excom- 
municate :" — After the sense, agreeing with the other before, we grant this to 
be an error. 

" That a prelate excommunicating a clerk, who appealeth to the king or 
council of the realm, in so doing is a traitor to God, the king, and the realm:" — 
We grant it is an error. 

" That they who leave off to preach, or to hear the word of God and the 
gospel preached, for the excommunication of men, are excommunicated, and 
in the day of judgment shall be counted for traitors to God:" understanding 
this conclusion universally, so as Scripture and laws do imderstand such inde- 
finite propositions : — We grant it is an error. 

" Tnatit is lawful for any deacon or priest to preach the word of God with- 
out the authority of the see apostolic, or catholic bishop, or of any other whose 
authoritj' he knoweth sufficient :" — We grant it is an error. 

" That there is no civil lord, no bishop or prelate, while he is in mortal sin :" 
—We grant it is an error. 


" That temporal lords may, at their pleasure, take away the temporal goods Richard 
from the churches, offending ' habifualiter :' " — We grant it is an error, after ^^• 
this sense, that they may so take away temporal goods of the churches, without ~7~~rj 
the cases limited in the laws of the church and kingdoms. , '„„' 

" That the vulgar people may correct the lords offending, at their pleasure :" — __! L 

Understanding hy this word " may," that they may do it by the law, we grant 
it is an error, because subjects have no power over their lords. 

" That tithes be pure alms, and that parishioners may, for the offences of their 
curates, detain the same, and bestow them on others at their pleasure :" — 
Understanding by this word " may," as before, to be, " may by the law," we 
grant it is an error. 

" That special prayers applied to any one person by prelates or religious 
men, do no more profit than the general prayers, if there be no let by the way 
to make them unlike :" — Understanding this conclusion universally negative, 
and understanding by special prayers, the prayers made upon special devotion, 
and general prayers of general devotion ; then, afler this sense, that no such 
special prayers, applied to any one person, by special orators, do profit more 
specially the said person, than general prayers do, which are made by the same, 
and for the same persons, we grant it is an error. 

" That he that giveth alms to the friars, or to any friar that preacheth, is ex- 
communicate, both he that giveth, and he that taketh :" — Understanding 
this proposition universally or conditionally, as is aforesaid, we grant it to be an 
error. "" 

" That who so entereth into any private religion whatsoever is thereby 
made more unapt and unmeet to obey the commandments of God:" — We grant 
it is an error. 

" That such holy men as did institute any private religions whatsoever, as 
well of seculars having possessions, as of friars having none, in so instituting 
did sin :" — Understanding this redupHcafively or universally, we grant it an 
error, after this sense, that what saints soever did institute private religion, 
instituting the said religion upon that consideration as they did, did sin. 

" That religious men, hving in private religions, be not of the religion of 
Christ :" — Understanding the proposition universally, as is aforesaid, we grant it 
is an error. 

" That friars are bound to get their living by the labour of their hands, and 
not by begging:" — Understanding this proposition universally, as before, we 
gi-ant it is an error. 

These things have we spoken, reverend father and lord, in all humility, under 
your gracious supportation and benign correction, according to our abilities and 
slender capacities for this present (the honour of God, the verity of our belief, 
and safe conscience in all points reserved), most humbly still beseeching you, 
that if any other thing there be, that seemeth meet unto your excellency and 
discretion to be more or otherwise said and spoken, that your gracious father- 
hood would vouchsafe to inform us as children by the sacred Scriptures, by the 
determination of the church, or authorities of the holy doctors ; and, doubtless, 
with ready wills and obedient minds we will consent and agree unto your whole- 
some doctrine. May it therefore please your fatherhood, right reverend in 
God, according to the accustomed manner of your benignity, favourably to 
accept these oui" words and sayings, forasmuch as the aforesaid conclusions 
were never by us either in schools affinned, or in sermons publicly preached. 

ASHTON. 20tH JUNE, a. D. 1382. 

When all these answers were made unto the said lord archbishop 
of Canterbury, the said Herford and Reppington, because they an- 
swered not unto the meaning and words of the first conclusion ex- 
pressly, but contrary to the sense of the decretal " Firmiter credimus,*" 
were there judicially examined what their sense and meaning was, 
but they would not express the same. Then was it demanded of 


Richard them, according to the sense of the same conclusion declared on 
^^' behalf of the said lord of Canterbury, whether the same material 

A. D. bread " in numero,"' which before the consecration is laid upon the 
^■^^^- altar, remains in proper substance and nature, after the consecration 
in the sacrament of the altar ; and likewise of the wine ? To this 
the said Herford and Reppington answered, that for that time they 
could say no more therein, than what they already answered, as is be- 
fore alleged in writing. And because unto the sense and words of the 
second conclusion they answered not fully and expressly, but in a sense 
contrary to the decretal "Cum Marthe;" being asked what was their 
meaning, they would not express the same. Therefore it was demanded 
of them, according to the sense of the same conclusion, declared in the 
behalf of the said lord of Canterbury, whether those corporal accidents 
which formally were in the bread and Avine before the consecration of 
them, were in the same bread and wine after the consecration, or else 
were subjected in any other substance ? To this they answered, that 
to answer better, than, before in their writings, they already had, for 
that time they could not. To the meaning also and words of the 
third conclusion, for that they answered not plainly and expressly, but 
in sense contrary to the decretal in the Clementines, " Si dudum,"''' 
being asked what was that sense and meaning, they would not declare 
the same. Wherefore it was then demanded of them, according to 
the sense of the same conclusion, declared on the behalf of the said 
lord of Canterbury, whether the same body of Christ, which was 
assumed of the Virgin, be in the sacrament of the altar, " Secundum 
seipsura," even as he is really in carnal substance, proper essence, 
and nature .'' To this they answered, that for that time they could 
say no more than what they had said, as before is specified in 

Furthermore, to the sense and text of the sixth conclusion, because 
they answered not fully and expressly, being asked whether God owed 
any manner of obedience to the devil or not : they said, " Yea, as 
the obedience of love, because he loveth, and punished him as he 
ought." And to prove that God ought so to obey the devil, they 
offered themselves to the fire. 

To the eleventh conclusion, because they answered not expressly, 
being asked whether a prelate might excommunicate any man being 
in a state of grace : they said, " Yea." 

To the twentieth conclusion, for that they answered not fully, 
simply, and expressly ; being demanded whether special or general 
prayers did most profit, and were of greater force, they would not say 
but tkat special did. 

To the last conclusion, for that they answered neither simply, nor 

expressly ; and being demanded particularly, whether any friar were 

bound to get his living with his manual labour, so that it might not 

be lawful for him to live by begging, they would make no answer 

at all. 

Judg- After that, the lord archbishop of Canterbury demanded of all the 

Sle doc" doctors, M'hat their judgment was touching the answers that were 

ihese^"" "^^^^ ^P^'^ ^^^ ^^^ singular such conclusions ; all and every one of 

articles Avhom Severally said, that all the answers given unto the first, second, 

third, and sixth conclusion (as is before recited) were insufficient, 


heretical and subtle ; and that all the answers made specially to the JUrhnrd 

ninth, tenth, and last conclusion, as is above mentioned, were insuffi- : — 

cient, erroneous, and perverse. Whereupon the lord archbishop, ■^•^■ 

considering; tiie said answers to be heretical, subtle, erroneous, and II- 

perverse, accordingly as the said doctors (as is aforesaid) had weiglied 
and considered, admonished the said Hertbrd and Keppington suffi- 
ciently under this form of words. 

The name of Christ being called upon, we, William, by God's permission, Admoni 
archbishop of Canterbury, metropolitan of all England, and legate of the tion and 
apostolic see, and through all our province of Canterbury, inquisitor of all of the 
heretical pravity, do sufhciently and lawfully admonish and cite you Nicholas arch- 
Herford and Philip Keppington, professors of divinity, having this day and bishop, 
place assigned you by your own consent and our appointment, peremptorily to the ex- 
answer and to say fully and plainly your opinions touching these conclusions, aminants 
whereunto we do refer you (all subtle, sophistical, and logical words set apart), 
being thereimto sworn, cited, and connuanded : whicli thing to do, without 
cause reasonable or any license given thereunto, you neither have been willing, 
nor are willing ; nay rather ye contemptuously refused to answer to some of 
those conclusions before us judicially, according to the effect of our monition, 
citation, and commandment aforesaid. But for that ye have answered unto 
some of them heretically, and to others erroneously, although not fully ; we 
admonish and cite you once, twice, and thrice, and that peremptorily, that 
plainly and fully (all subtle, sophistical, and logical words set apart) you and 
every of 'you answer unto the same conclusions, and unto that sense and 
meaning by us limited, imder the pain which otherwise such conclusions by 
you confessed deserve, and which for the same conclusions you ought to have. 

This admonition being made and done, because the aforesaid 
Herford and Keppington would make no other answer, the said lord 
archbishop of Canterbury concluded that business, prefixing and 
assigning unto the aforesaid Nicholas and Philip, eight days'" space ; 
that is to say, until the twenty-seventh day of the same month, and Anotiier 
that then they should appear before the said lord archbishop ofsig^',g^" 
Canterbury, wheresoever Avithin the same his province of Canterbury ^'"^ them 
he should happen to be, to hear his decree that should be made in 
that behalf. This done, the aforesaid archbishop of Canterbury 
admonished and cited lawfully and sufficiently John Ashton, under 
the tenor of these words following. 

Process issued by William Courtney, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
against John Ashton. 

In the name of God ; we, William, by God's permission archbishop of 
Canterbury, primate of all England, legate of the see apostolical, and through 
all our province of Canterbury, of all heretical pravity chief inquisitor, do 
monish and cite thee John Ashton, master of arts, and student in divinity, 
appearing before us judicially, to say and speak the plain verity touching these 
conclusions, to the which we do refer thee, and to the which we have caused 
thee to swear, laying thy hand upon a book ; as being also otherwise by lis 
admonished and commanded to keep this day and place by us appointed, for 
the third time peremptorily, to propone such reasonable cause (if thou hast 
any), wherefore thou oughtest not to be pronounced a heretic. And suffi- 
ciently and lawfully we monish and cite thee, the first, second, and third time, 
and that peremptorily, that thou fully and jilainly (all subtle, sophistical, and 
logical words set apart) do answer imto the same conclusions under the pain 
that unto such conclusions belong, and on thy part confessed, and that thou 
for such conclusions oughtest to suffer. 

This monition being thus premised, the said archbishop read the 


Rickard first conclusioii, and of tlie said John inquired wliat was his opinion 
^^' and meaning therein ? and hereupon he said his mind concerning the 
A.D. aforesaid monition. Then the aforesaid John Asliton, being often 
1382. required by the archbishop, that he would answer in tlie Latin tongue 
^°^" to those questions which were demanded of him, because of the lay 
sepa- people that stood about him ; he, crying out in the English tongue, 
am!lfed!^ Uttered frivolous and opprobrious contumelies to move and excite the 
The arch- people against the said archbishop; as it should seem. Neither did 
and his he unto the first conclusion, nor unto any of these other conclusions, 
avoid the effectually and pertinently seem to them to answer ; but rather by 
English subtleties and shifts, saying oftentimes, and as expressly as Luke 
forfea^r Said, it was sufficient for him to believe as the holy church believed. 
peopTe Then the said archbishop examined him upon the first conclusion 
Whether touchiug the sacrauieut of the altar ; whether that after the words of 
bl-eld"^' consecration there remaineth material bread, particular bread, or 
r'u e" universal bread ? He said the matter passed his understanding, and 
sacra- therefore said, he Avould in that form and manner answer, and other- 
wise not: but amongst other things, he spake in deriding-wise unto 
the said archbishop against this word " material,"" saying, *•' You may 
put that in your purse, if you have any." Whereupon the said 
archbishop, calling that an unwise and foolish answer, as the rest of the 
doctors did (of whom mention was made before), the rather for that 
he was a graduate in the schools, further proceeded against the said 
John Ashton in this wise. 

The Sentence pronounced on John Ashton. 

And thou John Ashton, monished and commanded by us, as is aforesaid, 
after thine oath taken, without any reasonable cause or any other license, 
neither wouldst thou, nor yet wilt, but rcfusedst, and yet dost contemptuously, 
to answer unto such conclusions before us ; judicially, according to our monition 
and commandment aforesaid, we do hold all such conclusions to be by thee 
confessed, and thee the aforesaid John, with all thy aforesaid conclusions, con- 
victed. And therefore, we do pronounce and declare by giving sentence, that 
thou John Ashton, concerning those conclusions, which by us with good deli- 
beration of divers prelates our suiFragans, and also divers and sundry professors 
of divinity, and other wise men and learned in the law, accordhig to the 
Ashton canonical sanctions, being condemned and declared for a heretic, and heretical 
declared jj^st been, and still art a heretic, and thy conclusions heretical. And as 
touching thy other conclusions, by us heretofore counted erroneous, and for 
erroneous condemned, we do pronounce and declare sententially by these our 
writings, both that thou hast erred, and dost err. 

Upon the same twentieth day of June, in the year and place above 

^e°ed recited, the aforesaid lord of Canterbury being desirous, as he pre- 

"'^^^: tended, to be informed by Thomas Hilman, bachelor of divinity, 

Asutuii. there being present, and somewhat favouring the said master John 

Ashton, what his judgment and opinion was, touching the aforesaid 

conclusions, prefixed and assigned unto the said Thomas (for that 

Time time demanding the same deliberation and day) eight days after; 

HOrnan that is to Say, the twenty-eighth of the said month, to appear before 

to answer, the archbishop of Canterbury, wheresoever within his said province 

of Canterbury he should then happen to be, to declare plainly and 

fully what his judgment and opinion was touching the aforesaid 


(n Ex Regist. W. Courtney. 

a heretic. 




The names of friars and doctors assistant at the examination Richard. 

aforesaid. — Friars observant : Botlesham, bishop of Navatoii, friar ; 1_ 

John Langlcy, William Suard. — Friars of Dominic''s order: John A. D. 
Kinghimi, John Lovey, Peter Stokes, AValtcr Dish. — Friars Car- ^'^^-- 
meUte : Thomas Ashburn, Baukine, Robert Walbey. — Doctors and 
friars Augustine : Master John Barnct, Master Thomas Backton, 
Master John Blanchard, Master John ShilHngfbrd, INIaster Lidford, 
Master Thomas Southam. 

The Friday following, that is to say, the twenty-eighth of June, Juiu- 28. 
A.D. 1382, the aforesaid Nicholas Herford, Philip Reppington, and Hihnan, appeared before the arclibishoj) and lord inquisitor 
of Canterbury, in the chapel of his manor of Otford, in the diocese 
of Canterbury, there sitting in his tribunal seat ; to whom the bishop 
of Canterbury said, that because at that time he had not the presence 
and assistance of the doctors in divinity and of the canon and civil 
law, he continued the business touching the said Nicholas, Philip, 
and Thomas, in the same state wherein it then was, till the Tuesday 
next and immediately ensuing ; that is to say, the first day of July, 
in the year of our Lord aforesaid ; and prefixed unto the said Nicholas, 
Philip, and Thomas, the same day to appear before him, wheresoever 
within his province of Canterbury he should then chance to be, to do 
that which upon the said twenty-eighth day, they were purposed to 
do together or apai't. 

The Tuesday being come, the aforesaid archbishop, in the chief 
house of his church at Canterbury, before the hour of nine, with the 
doctors whose names are under contained, and other clerks a great 
multitude, expected the aforesaid Nicholas, Philip, and Thomas a 
long time, the beadle calling them and looking after them ; who, 
nevertheless, appeared not before two of the clock after dinner the 
same day, continuing the aforesaid business in the pristine state till 
that same hour ; at •which time the archbishop of Canterbury, having 
for assistants the doctors and clerks under recited, examined Master 
Thomas llilman, then and there judicially appearing, what his opinion 
was touching the aforesaid conclusions ; who, at them and the meaning 
of them somewhat stammering, at last, to all and singular the same 
conclusions then to liim read and expounded, thus answered : " I Answerof 
suppose and judge all and singular those conclusions lately condemned "'^™*°- 
by my lord of Canterbury that now is, together with the counsel and 
consent of his clerks, to be heretical and erroneous, even as the same 
my lord of Canterbury and other doctors of divinity, of the canon and 
civil law, by common consent and counsel, have supposed and thought. 
And the same, being for lieresies and errors, as before is said, con- 
demned, I do, as much as in me is, condemn ; protesting that I will 
hold and affirm the contrary of those conclusions, and in the same 
faith live and die."" Then the said archbishop of Canterbury, then 
and there sitting as tribunal or judge, pronounced the said masters Herford 
Nicholas and Philip, long in court called before and tamed for, and phigton 
yet not appearing, guilty of contumacy and disobedience ; excom- ^,^n™" 
municating them for the penalty of this their contumacy, in tenor of f^^ted. 
these words following : 

VOL. rn. 


Rief/ard flic Scntcncc of Excommunicatioii passed upon Nicholas Herford 
'■ — and Pliilip Reppington. 

I'iH'y ^^' William, by the grace of God archbishop of Canterbury, primate of 
— England, legate of the apostolical see, and through all our province of Canter- 
bury, of all heretical pravity chief inquisitor, do pronounce Master Nicholas 
Herford and Master Phihp Reppington, professors of divinity, having this day 
and place by our prefixion appointed to hear and decree in this business of 
heretical pravity (being in court by our beadle long called and tarried for, and 
yet not ajjpearing), to be stubborn and disobedient persons ; and, for the penalty 
of this their contumacy, we do excommunicate them, and either of them, by 
these })resents. 

The denouncing of the Excommunication against Nicholas Herford 
and Philip Reppington. 

Julyl'tli, William, by God's permission archbishop of Canterbury, &c. To our beloved 
A.D.1382! son in Christ, whosoever he be, that this instant Sunday shall preach at Paul's 
Kxcom- Cross in London, salutation, gi'ace, and blessing. Forasmuch as we prefixed a 
tion to certain competent day and place to Master Nicholas Herford, and Master 
be de- Philip Reppmgton, canon regular of the monastery of our Lady of Leicester, 
aTpaul's ''^^•"g doctors of divinity, and of heretical pravity vehemently suspected (afler 
Cross. certain answers not ftilly made, but impertinent and nothing to the purpose, as 
also heretical and erroneous), in divers places of our said province commonly, 
generally, and publicly taught and preached; and that, therefore, they should 
judicially appear before us, to do and to receive peremptorily in that behalf, 
what thing soever the quality of that business should move us unto ; and that 
we have, for their contumacy in not appearing before us at that day and place, 
judicially appointed, as right therein required : we, by these presents, command 
and commit inito you, firmly enjoining you, that when all the multitude of 
people shall be gadiered together to hear your sermon, in the day and place 
appointed, you publicly and solemnly denounce the aforesaid Nicholas and 
Pliilip, holding up a cross, and lighting up a candle, and then throwing down 
the same upon the ground, to have been so and in such manner excommuni- 
cated, and still to be. — Fare ye well. 

In oiu" manor house at Lambeth, the tliirteenth day of July, in the year 
of our Lord 1382, and first year of our translation.' 

The Citation against the said Nicholas and Philip. 

William, by the grace of God, &c. To our well-beloved son Master Robert 
Rigges, chancellor of the university of Oxford, salutation, &c. Forasmuch as 
we have prefixed a competent day and place to Master Nicholas Herford, and 
Master Philip Reppington, &c. We straitly charge and command you, that 
3'ou publicly and solemnly denounce in the church of our Lady, and in the 
schools of the university, the aforesaid Nicholas and Philip to have been by us 
excommunicated, and still to be. And that you further cite, or cause to be 
cited, peremptorily the aforesaid Nicholas and Philip, that they and every of 
them appear before us within fifteen days after the date of this citation, where- 
soever it shall fortune us, within our said province of Canterbuiy, then j to be : 
to hear and see how we mean to proceed against them, and every of them, 
concerning the aforesaid heretical and erroneous conclusions, according to the 
form of retroactions, and quality of the business in this behalf had and used. 
And that both of the day of the receipt of this present citation, of the manner 
and form thereof; or if that you shall apprehend by personal citation the said 
Nicholas and Philip, or either of them, or whether they shall be absent and 
hide themselves, as of every thing else, which in this behalf you shall think meet 
to be done ; that between this and the feast of St. Laurence, you clearly certify 
us by your letters patent, containing the effect of these things. — Fare ye well. 
At our manor of Lambeth, the thirteenth day of July, in the year of our 
Lord 1382, and first year of our translation. 

(I) See aJso the Harleian MSS. in the Brit. Mus. No. 420. Art. xi. " Excerpta aliena manu 
fiCnpta ex Registro Willlelmi Courtnej', super conclusionibus hereticis et recantationibus Nicliolai 
llerfordi, Pliillippl Reppyngdon.etJohannisAsscheton.Wiclevistarum. a. d. 1382. "(Imperfect.)— Ed. 


Tlic names of the doctors niul friars, assistants at tliis sittiniif, were Richard 
these. — Seculars : Master William Blankpaine, Master William ^^' 
Barton. — Friars Carmelite: Robert Every, prior; John Rennini,''- A. D. 
ham, prior; and John Lunne. — Friars Minor; William Barnwell, _m^.-_ 
John Rydden, and AVilJiam Brunscombe. — Friars Augustine : John 
Court, Patrington, Tomson, and Keepes. 

Against this blind excommunication of tlie said archbishop the 
parties excommunicated commenced and exhibited their appeal unto 
the bishop of Rome ; which appeal of theirs, as insufficient, or rather 
to him impleasant, the said archbishop utterly rejected (as mifht 
oftentimes overcometh right), proceeding in his preconceived excom- 
munication against them, and writing, moreover, his letters to him 
that should preach next at PauFs Cross, as is aforesaid, to denounce 
and to publish openly the said Nicholas Herford and Philip Rep- 
pington to be excommunicate, for not appearing at their term assigned, 
which was the thirteenth day of July. 

This archbishop, moreover, the said year, in the month and on the Another 
day aforesaid, sent also another letter to Master Rigges, commissary |he"rch- 
of Oxford, straitly enjoining and charging him, not only to denounce ^'^^°p 
the said sentence of excommunication, and to give out public citation ciian- 
against them, but also to make diligent search and inquisition throuo-h Oxford.^ 
all Oxford for them, to have them apprehended and sent up to him, 
personally before him to appear at a certain day prescribed for the 
same ; whereby may appear how busy this bishop was, in disquieting 
and persecuting these poor men, whom rather he should have nourished 
and cherished as his brethren. But, as his labour is past, so his 
reward will follow, on that day when the great Archbishop of our 
souls shall judicially appear in his tribunal seat, to judge both the 
quick and the dead. 

The archbishop, not yet contented with this, doth, moreover, by Hitherto 
all means possible, solicit the king to join withal the power of his "urn any 
temporal sword ; for that he well perceived, that hitherto the popish ^^^yPi°^ 
clergy had not authority sufficient, by any public law or statute of 
this land, to proceed unto death against any person whatsoever, in 
case of religion, but only by the usurped tyranny and example of the 
court of Rome. Here note, gentle reader, for thy better under- 
standing, the practice of the Romish prelates in seeking the king''s 
help to further their bloody purpose against the good saints of God ; 
which king being but young, and under years of ripe judgment, The king 
partly induced, or rather seduced, by importunate suit of the aforesaid vem™ 
archbishop, partly, also, either for fear of the bishops (for kings cannot ^y ^^^ 
always do in their realms what they will), or else, perhaps, enticed by bishop. 
some hope of subsidy to be gathered by the clergy, was content to 
adjoin his private assent, such as it was, to the setting down of an 
ordinance, which was indeed the very first Jaw that is to be found First law 
made against religion and the professors thereof, bearing the name of by^'hr'* 
an act made in the parliament holden at Westminster in the fifth buriffn.^"'^ 
year of Ricluird II. ; where, among sundry other statutes then pub- professors 
lished, and yet remaining in the printed books of statutes, this gio"!?.' 
supposed statute is to be found (cap. 5. et ultimo). 








was re- 
wards by 
the com- 

A Private Statute made by the Clergy, without Consent or Know- 
ledge of the Commons. 

Item, Forasmuch as it is openly known that there be divers evil persons 
within the realm, going from county to county, and from town to town, in 
certain habits, under dissimidation of great holiness, and without the license of 
the ordinaries of the places, or other sufficient authority, preaching daily, not 
only in churches and churchyards, but also in markets, fairs, and other open 
places where a great congregation of people is, divers sermons containing 
heresies and notorious errors, to the great emblemishing of christian faith and 
destruction of the laws and of the estate of holy church, to the great peril of 
the souls of the people and of all the realm of England, as more plainly is found 
and sufficiently proved before the reverend father in God the archbishop of 
Canterbury, and the bishops and other prelates, masters of divinity, and doctors 
of canon and of civil law, and a great part of the clergy of the said realm, 
specially assembled for this great cause ; which persons do also preach divers 
matters of slander, to engender discord and dissension betwixt divers estates of 
the said realm, as well spiritual as temporal, in exciting of the people, to the 
great peril of all the realm : which preachers, being cited or summoned before 
the ordinaries of the places, there to answer to that whereof they be impeached, 
will not obey their summons and commandments, nor care for their monitions 
or the censures of the holy church, but expressly despise them ; and moreover, 
by their subtle and ingenious words, do draw the people to hear their seraions, 
and do maintain them in their errors by strong hand, and by great routs : it is 
ordained and assented in this present parliament, that the king's commissions 
be made and directed to the sheriffs, and other ministers of our sovereign lord 
the king, or other sufficient persons learned, and according to the certifications 
of the prelates thereof, to be made in the Chancery from time to time, to arrest 
all such preachers, and also their favourers, maintainers, and abettors, and to 
hold them in arrest and strong prison, till they will justify themselves accoi-ding 
to the law and reason of holy church. And the king willeth and commandeth, 
that the chancellor make such commissions at all times, that he, by the prelates, 
or any of them, shall be certified and thereof required, as is aforesaid. 


This supposed statute, forasmuch as it was the principal ground 
whereupon proceeded all the persecution of that time, it is, therefore, 
not impertinent to examine the same more particularly ; whereby it 
shall appear, that as the same was fraudulently and unduly devised 
by the prelates only, so was it in like manner most injuriously and 
unorderly executed by them. For, immediately upon the publishing 
of this law, without further warrant either from the king or his 
council, commissions under the great seal of England were made in 
this from : " Richard, by the oTace of God," &c. (as the act shows, 
p. 541) ; " witness myself, at Westminster, the twenty-sixth day of 
No usual June, in the sixth year of our reign ;'" without more words of warrant 
under\vritten, such as in like cases are both usual and requisite ; viz. 
" per ipsum regem ;" " per regem et concilium \'' " per breve de 
privato sigillo C all or any of which words being utterly wanting in 
this place, as may be seen in the king's records of that time, it must, 
therefore, be done either by wan-ant of this aforesaid statute, or else 
without any warrant at all. Whereupon it is to be noted, that 
whereas the said statute appointed the commissions to be directed to 
the sheriff, or other ministers of the king, or to other sufficient per- 
sons learned for the arresting of such persons ; the said commissions are 

words of 
affixed to 
this com- 


directed to the arclibisliop and his suffragans, being, as it appeareth, Richard 
parties in the case, autliorizing theni, further, without either the words, 

or reasonable meaning of the said statute, to imprison them in their A. D. 
own houses, or where else pleased them. \.iS2. 

Besides also, what manner of law this was, by whom devised, and 
by what authority the same was first made and established, judge by 
that which followeth, viz. — 

In the Utas of St. MichaeP next following, at a parliament sum- 
moned and holden at Westminster, the sixth year of the said king, 
among sundry petitions made to the king by his commons, whereunto 
he assented, there is one in this form : — 

An Extract fi-om the Petition of the Commons for repealing the 
aforesaid Statute. 

Item, the commons pray, That whereas a statute was made the last parlia- 
ment, in these words, " It is ordained in this present parliament, that commis- 
sions from the king be directed to the sheriiFs and other ministers of the king, 
or to other sufficient persons skilful, and according to the certificates of the 
prelates thereof, to be made unto the Chancery from time to time, to arrest all 
such preachers, and their favourers, maintainers, and abettors, and them to 
detain in strong prison, until they will justify themselves according to reason, 
and law of holy church ; and the king willeth and commandeth, that the chan- The 
cellor make such commissions, at all times, as he shall be by the prelates or statute 
any of them certified, and thereof required, as is aforesaid." The which was 
never agreed to nor granted by the commons ; but whatsoever was moved 
therein was without their assent : That the said statute be therefore disannulled. 
For it is not in any wise their meaning, that either themselves, or such as shall 
succeed them, shall be further justified or bound by the prelates, than were 
their ancestors in former times: whereunto is answered, " il plaist al roy ;" that 
is, " the king is pleased." 

Hereby, notwithstanding the former unjust law of the fifth ofTheking 
Rich. II. was repealed, and the fraud of the framcrs thereof suffi- [he"*" 
ciently discovered, yet such means were there used by the prelates, that '"''p^^'- 
this act of repeal was never published, nor ever since printed with the 
rest of the statutes of that parliament : insomuch that the said repeal 
being concealed, like commissions and other process were made fi-om 
time to time, by virtue of the said bastard statute, as Avell dm'ing all 
the reign of this king, as ever since, against the professors of religion ; 
as shall hereafter, by the grace of God, appear in the second year of 
king Henry lY., where the clergy pursued the like practice. 

And now again to the story of our Oxford divines, and of the 
archbishop ; to whom the king writeth his letters-patent, first to the 
archbishop, then to the vice-chancellor in Oxford, as followeth : — 

The King's Letters-patent to the Archbishop, against the Favourers 

of Wickliflr. 

Richard, by the grace of God, king of England, and lord of Ireland, to all A.D.13S2. 
those to whom these present letters shall come, greeting. By the petition of 
the reverend father in God, William, archbishop of Canterbuiy, primate of 
England, exhibited unto us, we right well understand, that divers and sundry 
conclusions, very contrary to wholesome doctrine, and redounding both to the 

(1) The " utas." or octaves. This was the eighth day succetdir,^ any term, or feast. To be within 
" the Utas of St. Michael," implies that it was a day betweeu St. Michael's day and the eighth day 
next ensuing. — Ed. 


Richard subversion of the catliolic faith, the holy church, and of his province of Canter- 

^^- bury, in divers and sundry places of tlie same his province, have been openly 

. ^ and publicly preached, although damnably preached : of which conclusions, 

, „'o9' some, as heresies, others, as errors, have been condemned, but not before good 

!_ and mature deliberation first therein had and used ; and by common counsel of 

the said archbishop, his siifliagans, and many doctors in divinity, and other 
clerks and learned men in the holy Scriptures, were they sententially and 
wholesomely declared. Whereupon the said archbishop hath made his suppli- 
cation unto us ; that both for the coercion and due castigation of such as snail, 
henceforth, of an obstinate mind, preach or maintain the aforesaid conclusions, 
we would vouchsafe to put to the arm and helping hand of our kingly power. 
We, therefore, moved by the zeal of the catholic faith, whereof we be and will 
be defenders, and unwilling that any such heresies or errors should spring up 
within the limits of our dominion, give and grant special license and authority, 
by the tenor of these presents, imto the aforesaid archbishop, and to his sulftagans, 
to arrest and imprison, either in their own prisons or any other, all and every 
such person and persons, as shall either privily or apertly preach and maintain the 
aforesaid conclusions so condemned ; and the same persons, so imprisoned there, 
at their pleasures to detain till such time as they shall repent them and amend 
them of such heretical pravities, or else it shall be of such arrests, b}' us and 
our council otherwise determined and provided: further chai'ging and com- 
manding all and singular our liege-men, ministers, and subjects, of what state 
and condition soever they be, upon their fidelity and allegiance wherein they 
stand bound to us, that by no means they either favour, counsel, or help the 
preachers or maintainers of the said conclusions so condemned, or their favour- 
ers, upon pain and forfeiture of all that ever they have ; but that they obey and 
humbly attend upon the said archbishop, his suffragans, and ministers, in the 
execution of these presents ; so that due and manifest publication against the 
aforesaid conclusions and their maintainers, without any perturbation, may be 
done and executed, as for the defence of our realm and catholic faith shall be 
thought most meet and requisite. In witness whereof, we have caused these 
our lettere-patent to be made. 

Witness our self, at Westminster, the sixteenth day of June, and sixth 
year of our reign. 

The King's Letters-patent to the Vice-chancellor and Proctors of 


The king, to the chancellor and the procurators of the university of Oxford who 
now be, or for the time being shall be, greeting. Moved by the zeal of christian 
faith, whereof we be, and always will be, defenders, and for our soul's health 
induced thereunto, having a great desire to repress, and by condign punishment 
to restrain the impugners of the aforesaid faith, who newly and wickedly go/ 
about and presume to sow their naughty and perverse doctrine within our 
kingdom of England, and to pi'each and hold damnable conclusions, so notori- 
ously repugnant and contrary to the same faith, to the perverting of our subjects 
and people, as we understand ; before they any further proceed in their malicious 
errors, or else infect others, we have by these presents appointed you to be 
inquisitor-general, all the chief divines of the said university being your assist- 
ants, and the same, likewise, to be done of all and singular the graduates, 
divines, and lawyers of the same university. And if they shall know any who 
be of the jurisdiction of the said university of Oxford, who be probably of them 
suspected to be in the favour, belief, or defence of any heresy or error, and 
especially of any of the conclusions publicly condemned by the reverend father, 
William, archbishop of Canterbury, by the counsel of his clergy, or else of any 
other conclusion like unto any of them in meaning, or in words ; and that if 
henceforth you shall find any that shall believe, favour, or defend any of the 
aforesaid heresies or errors, or any other such, or who shall be bold to receive 
into their houses and inns, Master John WicklifF, Master Nicholas Herford, 
Master Philip Reppington, or Master John Ashton, or any other noted by pro- 
bable suspicion of any of the aforesaid heresies or errors, or any other like 
unto them in meaning or in word ; or that shall presume to communicate with 
any of them, or else to defend or favour any such favourers, receivers, conimu- 

THE KIKg's letters AGAINST WKKMFF. 39 

nicants, and defenders, within seven days after tlie same shall appear and be Richard 
manifest unto you, that you banish ami expel them from the university and ^^■ 
town of Oxford, till auch time as they shall declare their innocency before the . y^ " 
archbishop of Canterbury fur the time being, by manifest purgation. So, not- 10139' 
withstanding, that such as be compelled to purge themselves, you certify us "" 

and the said archbishop, under your seals, from time to time within one month, 
that they be such manner of men : commanding, furthermore, that through all 
the halls of the said universitj' ye cause diligently to be searched and inquired 
out of hand, if any man have any book or tractation of the edition, or com- 
piling of the aforesaid Master John Wickliff; or Nicholas Hcrford ; and that, 
when and where soever ye shall chance to find any such book or tractation, ye 
cause the same to be arrested and taken, and unto the aforesaid archbishop, 
within one month, without correction, corruption, or mutation whatsoever, 
word for word, and sentence for sentence, to be brought and presented. And, 
therefore, we straitly enjoin and command you, upon your fidelity and alle- 
giance wherein ye stand boiuid unto us, and upon pain of forfeiture of all and 
singular your liberties and the pi-ivileges of your said universit}', and of all that 
ever yoii have besides ; that you give your diligent attendance upon the pre- 
mises, and that well and faithfidly you execute the same in manner and form 
aforesaid. And that you obe)' the aforesaid archbishop, and his lawful and 
honest mandates, that he shall think good to direct unto you in this behalf, as 
it is meet ye should. And we give in charge unto the vice-chancellor and 
mayor of Oxford for the time being, and to all and singular our sheriffs and 
under-sherifiTs, bailiffs, and subjects, by these presents ; that they aid, obey, and 
be attendant upon you, in the execution of tlie premises. In witness whereof, 
&c., witness the king, at Westminster, the thirteenth day of July, the sixth 
year of his reign. 

Besides these letters-patent, the said young king, moved by the a.d.i3S2 
restless importunity of the archbishop, sendeth, moreover, another ''^^' '^' 
special letter to the vice-chancellor and proctors to the university of 
Oxford, wherein, under a pretended zeal for the defence of the chris- 
tian faith, he straitly and sharply enjoineth and assigneth them, for Theton- 
the utter abolishing of those conclusions and opinions, to make a Iham'jet 
general inquisition through the whole university, as well for the parties terotking 
aforesaid, John WicklifF, Nicholas Herford, Philip Reppington, John sent' to 
Ashton, and such others ; as also for all others whom they Icnow or ^jfa^n"!' 
judge to be suspected of that doctrine, or to be maintainers, receivers, ^^j^^^^l^ 
and defenders of the aforesaid parties or their conclusions, in any feiiows. 
manner of way ; to the intent that they being so apprehended, through 
their diligent search, may be, within seven days of their admonitions, 
expelled the university, and cited up to the archbishop of Canterbury, 
before him to appear and to stand to their answers : willing, moreover, 
and commanding the said vice-chancellor and proctors, with other 
regents their assisters, that if any person or persons in any house, 
hall, or college, or in any other place, shall be found to have any of 
their books or treatises compiled by the said John Wickliff, Nicholas 
Herford, &c., they will cause without delay the said person or persons, Persons, 
with their books, to be arrested and attached, and presented within booksfu.'^ 
one month, without coiTCction, corruption, or mutation, to the afore- ^^^'■" 
said archbishop, upon their faith and allegiance, as they will avoid the 
forfeiture of all and singular the liberties and privileges to the uni- 
versity appertaining ; and tlmt they will be obedient to the arch- 
bishop aforesaid in the ordering hereof, and all other his injunctions 
to be obeyed in all things lawful and honest. Giving, moreover, in 
these his letters charge and commandment to the mnvor, bailiffs, 
and others, the inhabitants of Oxford, to be assistant and attendant 


Hichard unto tlic aforesaid vice-chancellor and proctors, touching the execution 

^^- of the premises, bearing the date of July 14, a.d. 1382, 


The vice-chancellor of Oxford at that time was Master Robert 
Rio-cres ; the two proctors were John Huntman and Walter Dish, 
■who then, as flir as they durst, favoured the cause of John Wickliff 
and that side ; insomuch that the same time and year, which was 
A.D. 1382, when certain public sermons should be appointed, accord- 
ing to custom, at the feast of the Ascension and of Corpus Christi, to 
be preached in the cloister of St. Frideswidc, now called Chrisfs 
Church, before the people, by the vice-chancellor aforesaid and the 
proctors, the doing whereof they had committed to Philip Repping- 
ton and Nicholas Herford, so that Herford should preach on the 
Herford, Asccusiou-day, and Reppington on Corpus Christi-day : Herford, 
ontheAs- ijeorinninar first, was noted to defend John WicklifF openly, as being 
•lay, a faithftd, good, and innocent man ; for which no small ado with 
Wickiifi-. outcries was amongst the friars. This Herford, after he had long 
favoured and maintained Wickliffs pai-t, grew first in suspicion 
amongst the enemies of the truth ; for, as soon as he began somewhat 
liberally and freely to pronounce and utter any thing which tended to 
the defence of WicklitF, by and by the Carmelites, and all the orders 
of religion were on his top, and laid not a few heresies unto his charge, 
which they had strained here and there out of his sennons, and had 
compiled together in a certain form, by the hands of certain notaries, 
through the industry and diligence of one Peter Stokes, a Carmelite ; 
a kind of people prone and ready to all kind of mischief, uproar, 
debate, and dissension, *'as though they were born and provided only 
for that purpose, utterly unprofitable, and nothing worth for any thing 
else ; much like things do divers wTiters (such as treat of the proper- 
ties of beasts), write, of the nature of certain spiders ; that, what- 
soever pleasant juice is in herbs, they suck it out, and convert it into 
poison. But these cowled merchants (in this behalf) do pass all the 
spiders, for whatsoever is worst and most pestilent in man, that do 
they hunt out and seek for, and with their teeth even, as it were, 
gnaw it out ; and of the opinions which be good, and agi-eeable with 
verity, they do make schisms and heresies. Such is the aptness of 
art, when nature helpeth thereunto.* After this the feast of Corpus 
Christi drew near, upon which day it was looked for that Reppington 
Ropping- should preach. This man was a canon of Leicester, and had before 
ofYeic^"- taken his first dcgi'ee unto doctorship, who, preaching at that time at 
ter, after- Broadgate, for the same sermon first became suspected, and hated by 
bishop of the Pharisaical brood of the friars ; but, through the great and notable 
nico n. (jgxterity of his wit, which all men did behold and see in him, accom- 
panied with like modesty and honesty, he did so overcome, or at least 
assuage this cruelty and persecution w^hich was towards him, that. 
Com- shortly after, by the consent of the whole fellowship, he was admitted 
doctor, doctor, who, as soon as he had taken it upon him, by and by he 

U) See EdiUon 1503 p lOl.— En. 


stepped forth in the scliools, and began immediately to show forth and Richard 

utter that which he had hjnij- hidden and dissembled, protesting openly '. — 

that in all moral matters he would defend WicklifF ; but that as A.D. 
touching the sacrament, he would as yet hold his peace, until such ^^^'^- 
time as the Lord should otherwise illuminate the hearts and minds of 
the clergy. 

Now the day of Corpus Christi aforesaid approaching near, when 
the friars understood that this man should preach, these Babylonians 
fearing lest he would scarce civilly or gently rub the galls of their 
religion, convented with the archbishop of Canterbury, that the same 
day, a little before Philip should preach, WicklifF's conclusions, 
which were privately condemned, should be openly defamed in the 
presence of the Avhole university ; the doing of which was committed 
to Peter Stokes, friar, standard-bearer and chief champion of that Peter 
side against Wickliff. ^ll&^d- 

There were also letters sent unto the commissary, that he should \l^^^l 
help and aid him in publishing the same conclusions, as is before de- Papists. 

These things thus done and finished, Reppington, at the hour 
appointed, proceeded to his sermon, in which, among many other 
things, he was reported to have uttered these sapngs, or to this 
effect : 

" That the popes or bishops ought not to be recommended above Notes on 

. 1 1 1 ■>i the ser- 

temporal lords. monof 

Also, " That in moral matters he would defend Master WicklifF, ^^pp'"°'' 
as a true catholic doctor."" 

Moreover, " That the duke of Lancaster was very earnestly affected 
and minded in this matter, and would, that all such should be re- 
ceived under his protection ;"" besides many more things, which touched 
the praise and defence of Wickliff. 

And finally, in concluding his sermon, he dismissed the people, 
repeating this sentence ; " I will," said he, " in the speculative doc- 
trine, as appertaining to the matter of the sacrament of the altar, 
keep silence and hold my peace, until such time as God otherwise 
shall instruct and illuminate the hearts of the clergy.^ 

When the sermon was done, Reppington entered into St. Frides- 
wide's church, accompanied by many of his fi-iends, who, as the 
enemies surmised, were privily weaponed under their garments, if 
need had been. Friar Stokes, the Carmelite aforesaid, suspecting all 
this to be against him, and being afraid of hurt, kept himself within the 
sanctuary of the church, not daring then to put out his head. The vice- 
chancellor and Reppington, friendly saluting one another in the 
chuich-porch, sent away the people, and so departed every man home 
to his own house. There was not a little joy throughout the whole 

(1) In the first Edition of Foxe, p. 97, the notes on Reppington's sermon slightly vary from 
later editions. They are as follow : " First, Whoso doth recommend the pope or bishops above the 
temporal lords, doeth contrary and against the holy Scripture. Secondly, That Master Wickliif is 
a true catholic doctor. Thirdly, That WicklifF never determined or talked otherwise, as touching 
the matter of the sacrament of the altar, than according to the mind and intent of the whole 
universal church of God. Fourthly, That his opinion concerning the sacrament of the altar is 
most true." The person mentioned in the notes above, was John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, who 
was an influential person at court, and exerted his influence wittf the crown in behalf of Wickliff, 
and who, there is every reason to believe, had imbibed some of the sentiments of that bold and 
pious reformer. — Ed. 


Richard university on account of that sermon ; but, in the mean time, the un- 

^'' quiet and busy Carmelite slipt not his matter. For first, by his 

A.D. letters, he declared the whole order of the matter unto the arch- 

^'^^'^- bishop, exaggerating the perils and dangers that he was in, requiring 

The uni- jmJ dcsiring his help and aid, pretermitting nothing whereby to move 

r^oVceth. and stir up the archbishop's mind, who of his own nature was as hot 

i as a toast, as they say, and ready enough to prosecute the matter of 

his own accord, though no man had prickt him forward thereunto, 

Douring oil into the bui-ning flame. 

**The archbishop hearing this, was moved and angered, and call- 
ing together the whole convocation, commanded Rigges, the commis- 
sary, and the proctors John Huntman and Walter Dish, to be sent for, 
with one Master Brightwell, against whom he would attempt, and lay 
certain suspicions, or rather evidences, to convict them for taking 
Wickliif ''s part. They at first denied, and by excusing themselves with 
lair woixis and doubtful sentences, went about to slip their heads 
/ out of the collar.* But besides all this, three days after, with a fierce 
and bold courage, the said fiiar, breathing out threatenings and 
heresies against them, took the way unto the schools, minding there 
Whether to provc, that the pope and the bishops ought to be prayed for before 
were°to ^ tlic lords temporal. Whilst this friar was thus occupied in the schools, 
be prayed hc was mocked and derided by all men, and shortly after he Avas sent 
the ^ ° for by the archbishop to London ; whom, immediately after, the vice- 
Thefrfar chanccllor and Brightwell followed up, to purge and clear themselves 
derided and tlicir adherents, from the accusations of this friar Peter. At 
schools, length, they being examined upon Wickliif 's Conclusions that were 
condemned, they did all consent tliat they were worthily condemned. 
The vice-chancellor being afterwards accused for the contempt of the 
archbisliop"'s letters, when he perceived and saw that no excuse would 
prevail to avoid that danger, humbling himself upon his knees, he 
desired pardon ; which when he had now again (as is aforesaid) albeit 
very hardly obtained, by the help of the bishop of Winchester he was 
sent away again with certain commandments, and suspension of he- 
retics ; * ^ that 90 soon as he was returned home, making inquisition 
throughout the university, he should put to silence all such as he 
found to be the favourers of WicklifF, Hcrford, Reppington, Asliton, 
and Bedman ; and that he should also publish, at the head church 
of the university, all WicklifF's Conclusions to be condemned, and 
that all others, whosoever he took or found to be an adherent unto 
Wickliffs sect or faction, that he should either put them to their 
purgation, or cause them to abjure ; unto whom, when the commis- 
sary answered again, that he durst not do it for fear of death, "What!" 
said the archbishop, " is Oxford such a nestler and favourer of 
heresies, that the catholic truth cannot be published T 

Hereby it appeareth (to note here by the way concerning this uni- 
versity) that Oxford,^ among all other schools and universities that I 
hear of, Avas the first and most forward in setting forth and main- 
taining the truth of all this christian religion and doctrine, which 

(1) See Edition 15C3, p. 97. --Ed. (2) Ibid. 

(3) Foxe presented to Magdalen College a copy of his Acts and Monuments, with an epistle 
dedicatory in his own hand ; a fac simile of which interesting document, with the author's auto- 
{jraph, will be found in the first volume of this Edition.— Ed. 

lp:tti:ii of the kixg to thp: vick-chancellok. 43 

now, through tlic operation of Christ, is spread so far and wide R;ciuir,i 
abroad. Wherefore, as this university of Oxford may worthily ^^' 
challenge the first praise hereof, under the Lord, amongst all other A. D. 
christian schools, so is it to be wished of the Lord, that the said ^'^^-- 
university now will show herself no less fervent and studious in re- 
taining or defending the same, which she so fervently set forth in 
the beginning.* 

Then began the hatred on either part somewhat to appear and 
show ; and especially men were offended, above all, with the friars I'irst 
and religious men, unto whom whatsoever trouble or mischief was of^lli" 
raised up, they did impute it, as to the authors and causers of the trouble. 
same. * And,^ in my mind, not without cause, for what trouble or 
business hath there ever been, where men of religion have not been 
the ringleaders, both in city, town, and country : in all ])laccs they 
creep, in all matters they meddle. And] as in Christ"'s time, none 
were more against him than they who professed most sanctimony, 
so now amongst all sorts of men, none were more against true reli- 
gion than they who most professed religion ;* amongst ■whom there 
was one Henry Crompe, a monk Cistercian, a well learned divine, Henry 
who afterwards was accused by the bishops of heresy. He at that a,^,°ac^* 
time was o])enly suspected by the commissary, because in his lee- y^^g'j."^ 
tures he called the heretics Lollards, or rather in liis acts, as they a/;cuse(i 
term them, in the school. Then he, coming by and by up to Lon- Jfheresy. 
don, made his complaint unto the archbishop, and to the king's 
council ; whereupon he obtained the letters of the king, and of his 
council, by virtue whereof, he returning again to the university, 
was released and restored to his former state ; the Avords of which 
letter here follow : 

Another Letter of the King to the Vice-chancellor and Proctors 

of Oxford. 

The king to the vice-chancellor and procurators of the university of Oxford, 
greeting. Whereas we, of late, understanding by the grievous complaint of 
Henry Crompe, monk, and regent in divinity within the said luiiversit}', how 
that lie, being assisted by the reverend father in God the archbishop of Cantor- 
bury, and by other clerks and divines in the city of London, to proceed in the 
condemnation of certain conclusions erroneous and heretical, hath been, there- 
fore, molested by you, and that you, through sinister suggestion of some adver- 
saries, pretending the peace of the said university to have been broken by the 
said Henry in his last lecture, did, therefore, call him before you to appear and Henry 
answer ; and for his not appearing, did, therefore, pronounce liim obstmate, and ^p°"Y1ii 
convicted of peace-breaking, and have also suspended the said Hemy from his eth to the 
lectures and all scholastical acts : and whereas we, by our writ, did call you up kinp's 
for the same, to ap])ear and answer before our council unto the premises ; and 0°"","' 
all things being well tried and examined by the said council, it was found and seeular 
determined, that all your process against tlie said Henry was void and of none "1^.*''"^. 
effect ; and commandment given, that the said Henry should be restored and 
admitted again to his former lectures and scholastical acts, and to his pristine 
state as you know. To the intent, therefore, that this decree aforesaid should 
be more duly executed on your part, we here, by these presents, straitly charge 
and command you, that you, speedily revoking all your jirocess against the said 
Henry in the university aforesaid, with all others that followed thereof, do 
admit and cause to be restored the said Henry to his scholastical acts, his 
accustomed lectures, and pristine estate, without any delay, according to the 
(1) Sec Edition, 1563, r- 37— Ed- 


Richard form of the decree and determination aforesaid : enjoining you, moreover, aod 

I^- your commissaries or deputies, and your successors, and all other masters, regent 

A TA and non-regent, and other presidents, officers, ministers and scholars of the 

J 009' university aforesaid, upon your faith and the allegiance you owe to us, that you 

^ do not impeach, molest or grieve, or cause to be grieved, in any manner of way, 

Crompe, privily or apertly, the said friar Henry for the causes premised, or friar Peter 

and Pack- Stokes, Carmelite, for the occasion of his absence from the university, or friar 

ington, Stephen Packington, Carmelite, or any other religious or secular person favour- 

trtheif ^"o them, upon occasion of any word or deed whatsoever, concerning the 

scholasti- doctrine of John Wickliff, Nicholas Herford, and Philip Reppington, or the 

cal acts, reproof and condemnation of their heresies and errors, or the correction of their 

favourers; but that you do procure peace, unity and quiet within the said 

university, and chiefly between the rehgious and secular persons ; and that you, 

with all thligence, nourish, increase, and preserve the same to the uttermost of 

your strength. And that you in no case omit to do it accordingly, upon the 

forfeitures of all and singular the liberties and privileges of the university 


Witness myself at Westminster, the fourteenth day of July. 

Mention was made, as you heard a little before, how Master Rigges, 
vice-chancellor of Oxford, coming up with Master Brightwell to the 
archbishop of Canterbury, Avas there straitly examined upon the con- 
clusions of WicklifF, where he, notwithstanding, through the help of 
the bishop of Winchester, obtained pardon, and was sent away again 
with commandments and charges to seek out all the favourers of John 
Herford WicklifF. This Commandment being received, Nicholas Herford, and 
pington' Philip Reppington, being privily warned by the vice-chancellor, in the 
duke of'' '^^an season conveyed themselves out of sight, and fled to the duke of 
Lancas- Lancaster for succour and help ; * but,^ the bishop's orders were at 
hand (as it were serpents lying in wait), to bite Christ by the heel ; 
unto whom the duke showed himself first somewhat sharp,* but after- 
wards, whether for fear, or for what cause else I cannot say, over- 
come by the bishop's adherents, in the end he forsook his poor and 
miserable clients. 

In the mean time, while they were thus fled to the duke, great 

search and inquisition was made for them, to cite and to apprehend 

them wheresoever they might be found ; whereupon the archbishop of 

The arch- Canterbury, William Courtney, directed his letters first to the vice- 

lette'rs to chanccllor of Oxford, then to the bishop of London, named Robert 

chancel- Braybrokc, charging them not only to excommunicate the said 

lor and Nicholas and Philip within their jurisdiction, and the said excom- 

Bray- muuicatiou to be denounced, likewise, throughout all the diocese of 

hisho^pof ^lis suffi-agans, but also, moreover, that diligent search and watch 

London, should be laid for them, both in Oxford and in London, that they 

might be apprehended ; requiring, moreover, by them to be certified 

again, what they had done in the premises. And this was written the 

fourteenth day of July, a. d. 1382.^ 

Unto these letters received from the archbishop diligent certificate 
was given accordingly, as well on the bishop of London's part, as 
also on the vice-chancellor's, the tenor whereof was this : 

(1) Collated with Edition 1563, p. 102.— Ed. (2) Ex Regist. W. Courtney, 




A Letter of Robert Riggcs, Vict--clifinccllor of Oxford, to t! • 

To the reverend father in C'lirist lord William, archbishop of Canterbur}', 
primate of all England, and legate of the apostolic see, Robert Iligges, professor 
of divinity, and vice-chancellor of the university of Oxford, greeting with due 
honoiir. Your letters bearing the date of the fourteenth of July I have received ; 
by the authority whereof I have denovuuxd, and caused to be denounced 
effectually, the aforesaid Nicholas and Philip to have been, and to be excom- 
municated publicly and solemnly in the church of St. Mary, and in the schools, 
and to be cited also personally, if by any means they might be apprehended, 
according as you commanded. But after diligent search laid for them on my 
part, to have them personally cited and apprehended, I could find neither the 
said Master Nicholas, nor Master Philip, who have hid or conveyed themselves 
awiiy, unknown to nie, as here is well known ; whereof I tliought here to give 
signification to your fatherhood. — Sealed and testified with the seal of mine 
office, from Oxford, the twenty-fifth of JiUy, a.d. 1382. 

In the mean time Nicholas Herford and Rcppington being re- Herford 
pulsed by the duke, and destitute, as was said, of his .sujjport, whether pfn'^gt^n' 
they were sent, or of their own accord went, to the archbishop, is b^ule**^ 
uncertain. This I find in a letter of the aforesaid archbishop, con- duke, 
tained in his register, tliat Rcppington, the twenty-third of October, Repping- 
the same year (a, d. 1382), was reconciled again to the archbishop, 1""^^^" 
and also by his general letter was released, and admitted to his scho- Ashton 
lastical acts in the university ; and so was also John Ashton, of whom ctie^d, by 
(Christ willing) more shall follow hereafter. Of Nicholas Herford, "Jsifjp.''" 
all this while, T find no special relation. 

In the mean time, about the twenty-third of September in the 
said year, the king sent his mandate to the archbishop for the col- 
lecting of a subsidy, and to have a convocation of the clergy sunnnoned a convo- 
against the next parliament, which should begin the eighteenth ofsummon- 
November. The archbishop likewise, on the fifteenth of October, ^''• 
(a.d. 1382), directed his letters monitory, as the manner is, to 
Robert Braybroke, bishop of London, to give the same admonition 
to all his suffragans, and to others of the clergy within his province, 
for the assembling of the convocation aforesaid. All which done 
and executed, the parliament began, being holden at Oxford the 
eighteenth of November, where the convocation was kept in the mo- 
nastery of Frideswide, in Oxford. In that convocation the archl)ishop convoca- 
with other bishops there sitting in their pontificalibus, declared two Pridos-' ' 
causes of that their present assembly : the one, said he, to repress ^jfj^rd" 
heresies, which began newly in the realm to spring up, and for 
correcting other excesses in the church : the other, said he, 
was to aid and sup|)ort the king with some necessary subsidy of 
money to be gathered, which thus declared, the convocation was 
continued till the day following, which was the nineteenth of 

At the said day and place, the archbishop with the other prelates Novianu 
a.ssembling themselves as before, the archbishop, after the usual so- 
lemnity, willed the procurators of the clergy, appointed for every 
diocese, to considt among themselves in some convenient private 
place, what they thought for iheir parts touching the redress of things, 
to be notified and declared to him and to his brethren. 



Richnid Furthermore, forasmuch, saith he, as it is so noised throuqh all 

'. — the realm, that there were certain in the university of Oxford, who 

A. D. (lid liold and maintain conclusions (as he calleth them) heretical and 
erroneous, condemned by him, and by other lawyers and doctors of 
divinity ; he therefore assigned the bishops of Sarum, Hereford, and 
Rochester, with William Ru'jo'e, then vice-chancellor of the univer- 
RigKes sity of Oxford (for perhaps Robert Rigges was then displaced), 
from^tifJ as also William Berton, and John Middleton, doctors ; giving them 
ehlncei- ^^^^ ^^^^^ authority, with cursing and banning, to compel them to search, 
lorship. and to inquire with all diligence and in all ways possible, over all and 
tionmade singular whatsoever, either doctors, bachelors, or scholars of the said 
atoxtord. university, who did hold, teach, maintain, and defend, in schools or 
out of schools, the said conclusions heretical (as he called them) or 
erroneous, and afterwards to give certificate truly and plainly touching 
the premises. And thus, for that day, the assembly broke up to the 
next, and so to the next, and the third, being Monday, the twenty- 
fourth of November.* 

On that day, in the presence of the prelates and the clergy in the 
chapter-house of St. Frideswide, came in Philip Reppington, other- 
wise called by the brethren, afterwards, Rampington, who there 
abjured the conclusions and assertions aforesaid in this form of words 
as foUoweth. 

Abjuration of Philip Reppington. 

In the name of God, Amen. I Philip Reppington, canon of the house of 
Leicester, acknowledging one catholic and apostolic faith, do cm'se and also 
abjure all heresy ; namely these heresies and errors under-written, condemned 
and reproved by the decrees canonical, and by you most reverend father, 
touching which hitherto I have been defamed; condemning, moreover, and 
reproving both them and the authors of them, and do confess the same to be 
catholically condemned. And I swear, also, by these holy evangelists which 
here I hold in my hand, and do pi-omise, never by any persuasions of men, nor 
by any way hereafter, to defend or hold as true, any of the said conclusions 
under-written ; but do and will stand and adhere in all things, to the determi- 
nation of the holy catholic church, and to yours, in this behalf. Over and 
besides, all such as stand contrary to this faith, I do pronounce them, with their 
doctrine and followers, worthy of everlasting curse. And if I myself shall 
presume at any time to hold or preach any thing contrary to the premises, I 
shall be content to abide the severity of the canons. — Subscribed with mine 
own hand, and of mine own accord. 

Philip Reppington. 

Philip And thus the said ' Rampington' was discharged, who afterwards 

t^n''be-° ^^^^ made bishop of Lincoln, and became at length the most bitter 
comes a and extreme persecutor of this side, of all the other bishops within 

terrible - '^ - - '■ 

perse- the realm, as in process hereafter may appear. 


After the abjuration of this Reppington, immediately was brought 
tion of in John Ashton, student of divinity ; who, being examined upon 


those conclusions, and willed to say his mind, answered, That he 
was too simple and ignorant, and therefore would not, and could not, 
answer any thing clearly or distinctly to those conclusions. Where- 
upon the archbishop assigned to him doctor William Rugge, the 
vice-chancellor, and other divines, such as he required himself, to be 

(1) Ex Regist. W. Courtney. 


instructed in the nivsterv of those conchisions iifj-ainst tlic afternoon ;' nirharA 

who, then appeiuing a^oiin after tlinm-r htfore the archbishop and -* — 

the prelates, did in like sort ami form of words abjure, as did '^■^^' 
Reppincfton before. -.'''". 

Of this John Ashton we read, that afterwards, by Thomas Anindcl, 
archbisiiop of Canterbury, he wa,s cited and condemned ; but whether 
he died in jirison, or was burned, we have vet no certainty to show. 
This is certain, bv the plain words of the Chronicle of St. Alban's, 
that when the archbishop, with his dcjctors and triars, sat in examina- The i,nn- 
tion upon this John Ashton, in London, the Londoners broke open fo°rcrihe 
the door of the conclave, "and did hinder the archbishop himself ^!]^J^g 
sitting in the city of London, when lie would have made process 'he ^^<^^- 
against John Ashton.""^ (a.d. 1o82.) And thus much of John sitting ' 

As touching Nicholas Herford, during the time of this convocation 
he did not appear ; and, therefore, had the sentence of excommuni- 
cation, against which he put in his appeal from the archbishop to the ncrford. 
king and his council. The archbishop would not admit it, but find- uomlhe 
ing stays and stops, caused him to be apprehended and enclosed in b[sh,m, 
prison. Notwithstanding, through the will of God, and good means, ''"•" 

1 1 I- ■ '^ • 1 • <- • \ "".to 

he escaped out ot prison, retummg agam to his tormer exercise, and prison, 
preaching as he did before, albeit in as covert and secret a manner es"capeth. 
as he could ; whereupon the archbishop, thundering out his bolts of 
excominunication against him, sendeth to all pastors and ministers, 
willing them in all chiirchcs and on all festival days, to divulge the 
said excommunication against him to all men : he writeth, moreover, 
and sendeth special charge to all and singular of the laity, to -beware 
that their simplicity be not deceived by his doctrine, but that they, 
like catholic children, will avoid him, and cause him bv all others to 
be avoided- 

Furthennore, not contented with this, he addresseth his letter unto 
the king, requiring also the aid of his temporal sword to chop off his 
neck, whom he had already cast down. See and note, reader ! the 
seraphicnl charity of these priestly prelates towards the poor redeemed 
flock of Christ. And yet these be they, who, washing their hands 
with Pilate, say and pretend, " Nobis non licet interficere quen- 
quam :"" " it is not our parts to kill any man." The copy of the 
letter written to the king is this : — 

A cruel Letter of the Archbishop to the King, against Nicholas 


To the most exconent prince in Christ, &'c.; William, &'c., preetinp in Him by 
whom kintjs do reijrn and princes bear rule. I'nto your kingly cilsitiide bv the 
tenor of these presents we intimate, that one Master Nicholas Herford, doctor 
of divinity, for his manifest contumacy and offence in not appearing before us, 
being called, at the day and place a.ssigned, is therefore enwrapped in the sen- 
tence of the greater curse, publicly by our ordinary aiuhority ; and in the same 
sentence hath continued now forty days, and yet still continueth with obdurate 
heart, wickedly contemning the keys of the, church, both to the great peril 
of his soul, and to the pernicious example of others. Fora.smuch, therefore, 

(1) A nhort time, my lord, for a miii in one lore noon to Icam a faith ai^ainst his conscience ! 

(2) " Ipnumqne archiepisroimm in civitafe sedentem imiediverunt, cum procecsum fecitsot 
contra Johaiuiem Aihtnn." &c. Kx Chron. Mona^t Albani. 


Richard as tlic holy mother the church hath not to do, or to proceed, any further 

M- in this matter, we humbly desire your kingly majesty to direct out yom- 

~. yi letters for the apprehending of the said excommunicate, according to the 

jgoo' custom of this realm of England, wholesomely observed and kept hitherto; 

' to the intent that such, whom the fear of God doth not restrain from evil, the 

discipline of the secular arm may bridle and pluck back from ofFending,i Your 

princely celsitude the Lord long continue. — From Lambeth, the fifteenth of 


To this letter of the archbishop, inight not the king, gentle reader, 
thus answer again, and answer well. 

Prosopo- " Your letters with your complaint and requests in the same con- 
what the tained, we have received and well considered : for the accomplishing 
mriiit whereof ye shall understand, that as wc are readily bent to gratify 
have and satisfy your mind in this behalf on the one hand, so we must be- 
again. ware agam on the other, that our authority be not abused, either to 
oppress before we know, or to judge before we have tried. Where- 
fore, forasmuch as you, in your letters, do excite and sharpen the 
severe discipline of our secular sword against one Nicholas Herfbrd, for 
his not appearing before you, and yet showing, in the said your letters, 
no certain cause to us what you have to charge him withal ; we, 
therefore, following the example of Alexander the Great, or rather the 
rule of equity, in opening both our ears indifferently, to hear as well 
the one pan as the other, do assign both to him, when he may be 
found, and to you, when ye shall be called, a term to appear before 
us : to the intent that the controversy between you and him, standing 
upon points of religion, being tried by the true touchstone of God's 
holy word, due correction indifferently may be ministered according 
as the offence shall be found. In the mean time, this we cannot but 
something marvel at in your said letters. First, to see you, men of 
the church and angels of peace, to be so desirous of blood. Secondly, 
to consider you again so fierce in prosecuting the breach of your law, 
and yet so cold in pursuing the breach of the express law of God and 
his commandments. Thirdly, to behold the unstable doubleness in 
your proceedings, who, pretending in your public sentence to become 
entreaters, for them to us, in the bowels of Jesus Christ, that we will 
withdraw from them the rigour of our severity, yet, in your letters, 
you be they who most set us on. If not appearing before you be 
such a matter of contumacy in case of your law, that it is in no case 
to be spared, what should then our princely discipline have done to 
brshlJ^sof ^^^^^^ ^^ y^^ calling ? Henry Spencer, bishop of Norwich, being at 
Canter- Canterbmy, was sent for by oiu: special commandment, to come at 
appeared our Call, who dcuicd to comc, and yet we spared him. John Strat- 
"hJir^^"'^^ ford, archbishop, your predecessor, being required of our progenitor 
''It wfre*^ king Edward III., to come to him at York, Avould not appear ; by 
they not rcason whereof Scotland at the same time was lost, and yet was he 
cuted. endured. The like might be said of Robert Winchelsey, in the days 
of king Edward I., and of Edmund, archbishop of Canterbmy, in 
the days of king Henry III. Stephen Langton was sent for by king 
John to come ; he came not. The like contumacy was in Becket 

(1) This is not to seek that Which is lost, by the rule of Ezekiel (chap, xxxiv. 4,) ; " The diseased 
have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither liave ye bound up 
that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have 
ye sought that which was lost ; but with force and with cruelty liave ye ruled them." 


toward king Henry II. Also in Anselni, toward king Henry I. Richard 

All these, for tlieir not appearing before their prinecs, ye do excuse, \ — 

who, notwithstanding, might have appeared without danger of life: A. U. 
this one man, for not appearing before you, you think worthy of _lii!l. 
death, whose life you would have condemned notwithstanding, if he 
had aj)peared. If the scpiirrel, climbing the tree from the lion's 
claws, would not appear, being sent for, to be devoured — it is no 
reason that the eagle therefore should seize upon him without any 
just cause declared against the party. Wherefore, according to this 
and to that aforesaid, when he shall appear, and V(ju be called, and 
the cause justly weighed, due execution shall be administered." 

And thus far concerning Xicli(»las Herford, and the other aforesaid. 
But in all this interval, what became of John Wicklift" is not cer- 
tainly knowTi ; albeit, so far as may be gathered out of Walden, it ap- 
peareth that he was banished and driven to exile. In the mean time, 
it is not to be doubted, but he was alive during all this while, where- 
soever he was, as by his letter may appear, which he, about this time, 
wrote to pope Urban VI. In that letter he doth purge himself, that 
being commanded to aj)pcar before the pope at Rome, he came 
not ; declaring also in the same a brief confession of his faith : the 
copy of which epistle here followeth. 

An Epistle of John Wickliff to Pope Urban VI., a.d. 1382. 

Verily I do rejoice to open and declare nnto everj' man the faith which I do 
hold ; and especially unto the bishop of Rome : which, forasmuch as I do sup- 
pose to be sound and true, he will most willingly confirm my said faith, or, if it 
DC erroneous, amend the same. 

First, I suj)pose that the gospel of Christ is the whole body of God's law ; and 
that Christ, who did give that same law himself, I believe to be very God and 
verj' man,' and in that j)oint, to exceed the law of the gospel, and all other 
parts of the Scripture. Again, I do give and hold the bishop of Rome, foras- 
much as he is the vicar of Christ here on earth, to be most bound, of all other 
men, unto that law of the gospel. For the greatness among Christ's disciples 
did not consist in worldly dignity or honours, but in the near and exact follow- 
ing of Christ in his life and manners : whereupon I do gather out of the heart 
of the law of the Lord, that Christ, for the time of his ])ilgrimage here, was a 
most poor man, abjecting and casting off all worldly rule and honour, as 
appeareth by the gospel of St. Matthew, chap, viii., and the second epistle of 
the Corinthians, chap. viii. 

Hereby I do fully gather, that no faithful man ought to follow, either the True dis- 
pope himself or any of the holy men, but in such points as be hath followed the "P'p* °^ 
Lord Jesus Christ ; for Peter and the sons of Zebedee, by desiring worldly geek not 
honour, contrarj* to the following of Christ's steps, did offend, and therefore in worldly 
those errors they are not to be followed. honour. 

Hereof I do gather, as a coimsel, that the pope ought to leave unto the 
secular power all temporal dominion and rule, and thereunto effectu.illy to move 
and exhort his whole clergy ; for so did Christ, and especially by his apostles. 
Wherefore, if I have erred in any of these points, I will most humbly submit 
myself unto correction, even by death, if necessity so require; and if I could 
labour according to my will or desire in mine own person, I would surely 
present myself before the bishop of Rome ; but the Lord hath otherwise visited 

(I) "I believe to be verj- God," tie. The English editions have, " I believe to be a verj- man." 
This letter, Riven in the I.afin edition, p. 16, and bearing date " Anno \?,M," proceeds thus : — 
" Christum autem, qui evangelium illud immediate dcdtrat, rrerto esse venim Deum, et vcrum 
homincm." In Lewis's history-, p. 284. as also in a MS. in the Uodlcian Library, it is also cor 
rectly (fiven : " I believe that Jesu Christ, that gaf in his own persoun this gospel, is very God 
and very man, and te this it passes all other laws." — Ed. 



Richard me to the contraiy, and hath taught me rather to obey God than men. Foras- 

^^- much tlien as God hath given imto om- pope just and true evangelical instincts, 

A. D ^^ ought to pray that those instincts be not extinguished by any subtle or crafty 

13S2. 'If'^'ice, and that the pope and cai'dinals be not moved to do any thing contrary 

unto the law of the Lord. 

Wherefore, let us pray unto our God, that he vnW so stir up our pope 
Urban VI., as he began, that he with his clergy may follow the Lord Jesus 
Christ in life and manners ; and that they may teach the people effectually, and 
that they, likewise, may faithfully follow them in the same. And let us spe- 
cially pray, that our pope may be presei'ved from all malign and evil counsel, 
which we do know that evil and envious men of his household would give him. 
And seeing the Lord will not suffer us to be tempted above our power, much 
less then will he require of any creature to do that thing which it is not able ; 
forasmuch as that is the plain condition and manner of Antichrist. 

The pope Tlius mucli wrotc John WicklifF to pope Urban, Bnt this Ur- 
p'ieTin banus, otherwise termed ' Turbanns,' was so hot in his Avars against 
sciiisma- Clement the French pope, his adversary, that he had no leisure, and 

tics'! wsrs 1 i. ' J ■ ' 

that he ' less list, to attend to Wichliff's matters ; by reason of which schism, 
lefsure" God SO provided for poor WiclclifF, that he was in some more rest 
inat°terr ^"^^ quictncss. Concerning these schismatical wars of the popes, for- 
asmuch as we have here entered upon the mention thereof, it shall 
not be impertinent from the order of our story, digressing a little 
from the matter of John WicklifF, to say something of the tragical 
doings of these two holy popes, striving for the triple crown ; to the 
intent that the christian reader, judging by their fruits and proceed- 
Kiffer- ings, may see and understand what difference there is between these 
tweentiie popcs, and Clirist and his apostles. For though in the story of the 
amuhe gospel it is read, that certain of the disciples did strive which should 
popes, in bc the greater ; yet neither do we read that one of them ever took 
for pre^ wcapou against the other ; and moreover, in the said story of the 
nence. gospcl it doth appear, that they, for so striving as they did, were 
shai-ply rebuked by our Saviour Christ, and were taught by him 
another lesson. 
A-d.-iss. About the beginning of the year following, which was a.d. 1383, 
JeTor^^' P^P^ Urban setting all his study how to repress and conquer the 
war. contrary pope, his adversary, being then at Avignon, seeing all his 
other means to fail, and that his cross keys could do no good, took to 
him the sword of Romulus, and set upon him with open war. And 
first devising with himself whom he might best choose for his chief 
champion, he thought none meeter for such affairs than Henry Spencer, 
being then bishop of Norwich, a young and stout prelate, more fitting 
for the camping cm'e, than for the peaceable church of Christ, as 
partly also might appear before by his acts done at Lennam, in 
striving for the mayor"'s mace, mentioned before. Unto this bishop 
of Norwich the pope had sent his bulls about this time, to croisy 
whosoever would go with him into France, to destroy the antipope, 
who named himself Clement, and to make war against all those that 
took his part. These bulls, for that they gave to him such gi-cat 
authority, he caused to be published in the parliament house, and 
caused copies of the same to be sent all about, and to be set up and 
fastened upon all the church doors and monastery gates, that all men 
might read them ; in which bulls these privileges were granted, the 
copy whereof here followeth. 


Pope Urban's Bull to destroy Clement the Antipope. //. 

Imprimis, That the said hishop of Norwich may use his sword against the A. D. 
antij)()pe, and ail iiis adherents, favovirers, and counsellors, and with violence 1383. 
put tlieni to death. ZT 

2. Item, That ho hatli full power to inquire of all and singular such schisma- fruits of 
tics, and to put them in prison, and to confiscate all their tfoods, moveahlu and '^'"'" 
immoveahle. '^""'*'- 

3. Item, That he hath power and authority to deprive all laymen that are 
such schismatics, of all manner of secular ottices whatsoever, and to give their 
'jffices to other lit ;uul convenient persons. 

4. Item, That he may deprive all such clerks, and declare them to be schis- 
matics, and, in this behalf, to give and bestow their benefices, either with cure 
or without cure, their dignities, parsonages, or offices, to other persons more 
meet for the same 

5. Item, He hath power and authority over lay persons that are exempt, 
and clerks both secular and rcgvilar, yea although they be friars mendicant, or 
masters and professors of other houses or hospitals of St. John of Jerusalem, or 
St. Mary of Flanders, or ])rofessors of all other orders whatsoever. 

6. Item, He hath power to dispense with wliat secular clerk soever, being 
beneficed either with cure or without cure, and also with such as have dignities, 
parsonages, or offices, being regulars either exempt or not exempt, that every 
one of them may be absent with him from their dignities and benefices, &c. 
tmder the standard of the cross, without license of any of their prelates being 
required, and yet to receive and take the entire commodities of their benefices, 
as though they had been personally resident upon the same. 

7. Item, There is granted to all that pass the seas in this quarrel, either at 
their own expense, or at the expense of any others, full remission of their sins; 
and as large privileges are granted to all those that go over the sea with him, 
as to any that pay their money, or go to fight for the Holy Land. 

8. Also all such as, with their proper goods and substance, shall give sufficient 
stipend to able soldiers, at the discretion of the aforesaid lord bishop mustered, 
or by any other his deputy, although he himself be not personally at this busi- 
ness aforesaid ; yet shall he have like remission and indulgence, as they who 
have been personally with him in this expedition. 

9. Item, All they are partakers of this remission, who shall give any part of 
their goods to the said bishop to fight against the said schismatics. 

10. Item, if any shall chance to die in the journey who are soldiers under 
the said standard of the cross, or else before the quan-el by some means be 
finished, they shall fully and wholly receive the said grace, and shall be par- 
takers of the aforesaid remission and indulgence. 

11. Item, He hath power to excommunicate, suspend, and interdict, what 
persons soever be rebellious or disturbers of him in the execution of his power 
and authority committed unto him, of what dignity, state, degree, pre-eminence, 
order, place, or condition soever they shall be : whether they shall be either of 
regal, queenly, or imperial dignity, or of what dignity else soever, either eccle- 
siastical or nnmdane. 

12. Item, He hath power and authority to compel and enforce all religious 
persons whatsoever, and to appoint them, and sencl them over sea, if it seem 
good to him ; yea, although they be professors of the friars mendicant, for the 
execution of the premises. 

Form of the Pope"'s Absolution pronoiineed by the Bishop. 

By the authority apostolical to me in this behalf committed, we absolve thee 
A. B. from all thy sins confessed with thy mouth, and being contiite with thy 
heart, and whereof thou wouldst be confessed if they came into thy memory; 
and we grant unto thee plenary remission of all manner of sins, and we promise 
unto thee thy part of the reward of all just men, and of everlasting salvation. 
And as many privileges as are granted to them that go to fight for the Holy Christ's 
Land, we grant unto thee ; and of all the prayers and benefits of the church, ^^"f^?" 
the universal synod, as also of the holy catholic churcli, wc make thee par- ^^ pi^ce. 



Richard Tliis couragcous ov rather outrageous bishop, armed thus with the 

!__ pope"'s authority, and prompt with his privileges, in the year aforesaid 

A. D. (a.d. 1883), about the time of Lent, came to the parliament, where 
^^^^' great consultation and contention, and almost no less schism, was, 
about the voyage of this popish bishop in the parliament, than was 
between the popes themselves ; in which parliament many there 
were, who thought it not safe to commit the king's people and 
subjects to a rude and unskilful priest. So great was the diversity of 
judgments in that behalf that the bishop"'s voyage was protracted to 
the Saturday before Passion Sunday. On that Sunday was sung the 
solemn anthem, " Ecce crucem Domini, fugite partes adversse ;"" that 
is, " Behold the cross of the Lord, fly away all you adversaries." 
After that Sunday the parties so agreed amongst themselves by 
common decree, that the bishop should set forward on his voyage, 
having given to him the fifteenth, which was gi-anted to the king in 
the parliament before. These things thus concluded, this warlike 
bishop preparing beforehand all things in readiness, set forward on 
his pope-holy journey ; who, about the month of May, came to 
Canterbury, and there, tarrying for a wind in the monastery of 
St. Augustine, received a writ from the king that he should return to 
him, to know further of his pleasure. The bishop fearing, that if he 
turned again to the king, his journey should be staid, and so all his 
labour and preparation lost, with great derision and shame unto him, 
thought better to commit himself to fortune with that little army he 
had, than, by tarrying, to be made a laughing stock to his adversaries. 
Wherefore he sent word back again to the king, that he was now 
ready prepared, and well forward on his journey ; and that it was not 
expedient now to protract the time for any kind of talk, which, per- 
ad venture, should be to no manner of purpose ; and that it was more 
convenient for him to hasten in his journey to God's glory, and also 
to the honour of the king. And thus he, calling his men unto him, 
entered forthwith upon the seas, and went to Calais, where he, waiting 
a few days for the rest of his army, on its arrival, took his journey 
first to the town of Gravelines, which he besieged so desperately, 
without any preparing of engines of war, or counsel of politic men 
skilful in such affairs, that he seemed rather to fly upon them, than 
to invade them. At length, through the superstition of our men 
trusting to the pope's absolution, he so harshly approached the walls 
and invaded the enemies, that a great number of them were piteously 
slain with shot and wild-fire ; till, in the end, the inhabitants being 
oppressed and vanquished, our men entered the town with their 
ness°of*' bishop, whcrc they, at his commandment, destroying both man, 
Anti-_ woman, and child, left not one alive of all those who remained in the 
whole town, " And so it came to pass by the virtue of the cross, 
that the enemies of the cross were so utterly destroyed, that not one 
of them remained alive."' 

From Gravelines this warlike bishop set forward to Dunkirk, 
where, not long after, the Frenchmen meeting with him, joined with 
him in battle ; in which battle, if the story be true, twelve thousand 
of the Frenchmen were slain in the chase, and of our men only seven 

(1) " Sicque crucis beneficio factum, ut crucis hostes ita delerentur, quod unua ex eis non 
reraanait."— Ex Chron. Mon. D. Albanl. in Vita Ric. II. 



■were missing. It would req"uire a long narration here to discourse of Richard 

all things done in these popish wars ; also it would be no less ridicu- L_ 

lous to view and behold the glorious temerity of this new upstart A.U. 
captain. But certes, lamentable it is to see the pitiful slaughter and 1^83 
murder of Clu-ist's people by means of these pitiless popes, during 
these wars in France ; as when the bishop coming from Dunkirk to 
the siege of Ypres, a great number of Englishmen there were lost, 
and much money consumed, and yet nothing done effectually, to the 
great shame and ignominy of the bishop. Again, after the siege of 
Ypres, thus with shame broken up, the same bishop proceeding with 
a small power to fight with the French king's camp, contrary to the 
counsel of his captains, who counted him rash and unskilful in his 
attempt, was fain to break company with them ; whereby part of the 
army went unto Burburgh, and the bishop with the other part 
returned to Gravelines ; both wliich towns shortly after Avere besieged 
by the French army, to the great loss both of the English and 
French. In fine, when the bishop could keep Gravelines no longer, 
the said bishop with his croysies, crossing the seas, came home again 
as wise as he went. And thus, making an end of this pontifical war, 
we will return again from whence we digressed, to the story and 
matter of John WicklifF. 

This John WicklifF returning again within short space, either from a.d.i384. 
his banishment, or from some other place where he Avas secretly kept, 
repaired to his parish of Lutterworth, where he Avas parson ; and 
there, quietly departing this mortal life, slept in peace in the Lord, 
in the beginning of the year 1384, upon Silvester's day.^ 

Here is to be noted the great providence of the Lord in this man, 
as in divers others, Avhom the Lord so long preserved in such rages 
of so many enemies from all their hands, even to his old age. For 
so it appeareth by Thomas Walden, Avriting aminst him in his tomes 
entitled " De Sacramcntis, contra Wiclevium, ' that he Avas well aged 
before he departed, by that Avhich the aforesaid Walden Avriteth of 
him in his epilogue, spealiing of WicklifF in these Avords ; ^ "so that 
the same thing pleased him in his old age, Avhich did please him 
being young." Whereby it seemeth that WicklifF lived till he Avas 
an old man by this report. Such a Lord is God, that whom he vdll 
have kept, nothing can hurt. 

This WicklifF had Avritten divers and sundry works, which were 

(1) There is a small tract freely circulated amon^ the papists in Ireland, en itled " A sure way 
to find out the true religion." Dublin, sixth edition, 1833. The writer, following the steps of 
Alanus Copus, and others, attacks our author by a reference to his calendar of martyrs. Of this 
calendar Foxe thus speaks in the fourth edition, page 583, col. 1 : " In my book of Acts and Monu- 
ments entreating of matters passed in the church these latter five hundred years, I did regulate 
out a calendar; not for any canon to constitute saints, but only for a table of them, who within 
the same time did surter for the testimony of the word, whom I did, and do, take to be good and 
godly men." And again, in the same page, col. 2, speaking of Sir John Oldcastle and others, he 
says, " But this peradventure inoveth your cholor, that in the calendar I named them lor martjTs. 
And why may not I, in my calendar, call them by the name of martyrs, who were faithful witnesses 
of Christ's truth and testament, for which they were also chiefly brought unto that end.'" The 
use of this term martyr, in cases of suffering short of death, is allowable by the authority of 
Dr. Johnson, who thus quotes from South : " To be a martyr, signifies only to witness the truth of 
Christ; but the witnessing of the truth was tlii-n so generally attended with persecution, that 
martyrdom vow signifies not only to '-vitness, but to witness by death." Notwithstanding Foxe's 
explanation of his meaning of this word martyr, we read in the tract above referred to, at page CI, 
" John AA'ickliffe, martyr; this is another of Foxe's lies, for AVickliffe was never put to death, nor 
yet so much as imprisoned for his heresy, but died in his bed at Lutterworth, in Leicestershire." 
Let the reader compare this Jesuitical insinuation of an untruth on the part of Foxe, with the above 
detailed account of Wickliff's death, " quietly departing," and .sleeping -'in peace in the Lord," 
and a more deliberate deception on the part of his adversary can hardly be conceived. — Ed. 

(2) " Ita ut cano placeret, quod juveni complacebat," &c. — Waldanus 2. tomo de Sacramentis. 
contra Wiclevium. 

54 WICKLIPf's ANSWKR unto king RICHARD, 

Richard biirnt lit Oxford a.d. 1410, the abbot of Shrewsbury being then 

"' commissary, and sent to oversee tliat matter.^ And not only in 

A. D England, "but in Bohemia likewise, the books of the said Wickliff 

^'^^'^- were set on fire by one Subincus, archbishop of Prague, who made 

The diligent inquisition for the same, and burned them. The volumes 

wkkiiirs which he is said to have burned, most excellently written, and richly 

^"''^^' adorned with bosses of gold, and rich coverings (as Eneas Silvius 

writeth), were about the number of two hundred. 

*I would to God, that our destinies had not so much envied us, as 
to have deprived us of the felicity and commodity of so great a 
treasure. Albeit, in this behalf, John Bale hath deserved not a little 
praise, through whose exquisite labour and diligence it is brought to 
pass, that not only certain titles and arguments of his books, but also 
certain monuments,^ as I do hear, are recovered out of darkness ; a 
man who, not in this respect alone, hath well deserved, of good 

Johannes Cocleus, in his book ' De historia Hussitarmii,' speaking 
of the books of Wickliff, testifieth, that he wrote very many books, 
sermons, and tractations. Moreover, the said Cocleus, speaking of 
himself, recordeth also, that there was a certain bishop in England, 
who wrote to him, declaring, that he had yet remaining in his custody 
two huge and mighty volumes of John Wickliffs works, which, for 
the quantity thereof, might seem to be equal to the works of St. 

Among other of his treatises, I myself also have found out certain, 
as ' De sensa et veritate Scripturse ;'' ' De Ecclesia f ' De Eucha- 
ristia confessio Wicklevi,' which I intend hereafter, the Lord so 
granting, to publish abroad. 

As concerning certain answers of John Wickliff which he wrote to 
king Richard II., touching the right and title of the king and of the 
pope, because they are but short, I thought here to annex them. 
The effect whereof here followeth : — 

The Substance of John Wickliff's Answer to King Richard II., 
touching the Right and Title of the King and the Pope. 

It was demanded " whetlier the kingdom of England may lawfully in case of 
necessity, for its own defence, detain and keep back the treasure of the kingdom, 
that it be not carried away to foreign and strange nations, tiie pope himself 
demanding and requiring the same, under pain of censure, and by virtue of 
obedience." Wickliff, setting apart the minds of learned men, and what might 
be said in the matter, either by the canon law, or by the law of England, or by 
the civil law, saith : 

" It resteth now only to persuade and prove the affirmative part of this doubt, 
by the principles of Christ's law. And first, I prove it thus : Every natural 
body hath power given by God to resist against its contrary, and to preserve 
itself in due estate, as philosophers know very well; insomuch, that bodies 
without life are endued with such kind of power, as it is evident, unto whom 
hardness is given to resist those things that would break them, and coldness to 
withstand the heat that dissolveth them. Forasmuch then, as the kingdom of 
England, after tlie manner and phrase of the Scriptures, ought to be one body, 

(1) In theHarleian MSS. in the British Museum, No. 419, Art. 50, is an old document containing, 
amongst other matters, the history of the condemnation and search after Wickliff' s books. — Ed. 

(2) Wharton observes, " We have as many of the works of Wickliff yet extant, as, if printed 
together, would make four or five volumes in folio." — Ed. 

(3) See the edition 1563, p. 98. 


and the clergy, wth tlie commonalty, the members thereof, it seemeth that the Richard 
same kingdom hath such i)o\ver given it of God; and so much the more ^^■ 
apparently, by how much the same body is more precious unto God, adorned . j^ 
with virtue and knowledge. Forasmuch then as there is no power given of , .,'q / 

God unto any creature for any end or pui'pose, but that he may lawfally use 1_ 

the same to that end and purpose, it followeth that our kingdom may lawfully 
keep back and detain their treasure for the defence of itself, in what case soever 
necessity doth require the same. 

Secondly, The same is proved by the law of the gospel : for the pope cannot The 
challenge the treasure of this kingdom, but under the title of alms, and conse- ^"V^y 
quently under the pretence of works of mercy, according to the rule of charity, the alms 

But in the case aforesaid, the title of alms ought utterly to cease : Ergo, the o*" good 
right and title of challenging the treasure of our realm, shall cease also, in the ™^"' 
presupposed necessity. Forasmuch as all charity hath its beginning of itself, Necessity 
it were no woi-k of charity, but of mere madness, to send away the treasures of tal^eth 
the realm unto foreign nations, whereby the realm itself may fall into ruin, pop^e^s '"^ 
under the pretence of such charity. alms. 

It appeareth also by this, that Christ, the head of the church, whom all 
christian priests ought to follow, lived by the alms of devout women [Luke vii. 
and viii.] He hungered and thirsted, he was a stranger, and many other 
miseries he sustained, not only in his members, but also in his own body, as the 
apostle witnesseth [2 Cor. viii.] " He was made poor for your sakes, that through 
his poverty' you might be rich :" whereby, in the first endowing of the church, 
whatsoever he were of the clergy that had any temporal possessions, he had 
the same by form of a perpetual alms, as both writings and chronicles do 

Hereupon the blessed Bernard, declaring in his second book to Eugenius, 
that he could not challenge any secular dominion by right of succession, as 
being the vicar of St. Peter, wi-iteth thus; " If St. John should speak unto the Notewell, 
pope himself, as Bernard doth unto Eugenius, were it to be thought that he j,,^ ^^' 
would take it patiently? But let it be so, that you do challenge it unto you by Bernard. 
some other ways or means ; but truly, by any right or title apostolical, you cannot 
so do : for how could he give unto you that wliicli he had not himself? That 
which he had, he gave you ; that is to say, care over the church ; but did he 
give you any lordship or rule? Hark what he saith, ' Not bearing rule as 
lords over the clergy, but behaving yourselves as examples to the flock.' And 
because thou shouldst think it to be spoken only in humility, and not in ^"^rity, 
mark the word of the Lord himself in the gospel, * The kings of the people do 
rule over them, but you shall not do so.' Here lordship and dominion are 
plainly forbidden to the apostles, and darest thou then usurp the same I If thou 
wilt be a lord, thou shalt lose thine apostleship ; or, if thou wilt be an apostle The pope 
thou shalt lose thy lordship : for truly thou shalt depai-t from the one of them. ™^'^' 
If thou wilt have both, thou shalt lose both, or else think thj'Bclf to be of that jordship, 
nimiber, of whom God doth so greatly complain, saying, ' They have reigned, or else his 
but not through me ; they are become princes, and I have not known it.' ^\^; Tet 

^' Now if it do suffice thee to rule without dominion. ^ thou hast thy glory, but him ' 
not with God. But if we will keep that which is forbidden us, let us hear '^^^^°^^ 
what is said, ' He that is the greatest amongst you,' saith Christ, ' shall be made 
as the least, and he which is the highest shall be as the minister;' and, for 
example, he set a child in the midst of them. So this then is the true form 
and institution of the apostles' trade ; lordship and nile is forbidden, ministra- 
tion and service commanded." 

By these words of this blessed man, whom the whole church doth The pope 
reverence and worship, it doth appear that the pope hath not power power"" 
to hold in possession the (i^oods of the church, as lord thereof, but as "^'"^j^ 
minister and servant, and proctor for the poor. And would to God, goods. 
that the same proud and greedy desire of rule and lordship, which J^l^^^^^ 
this seat doth challenge unto it, were not a preamble to prepare a |,'^^_'''^s- 
Avay for Antichrist ; for it is evident by the gospel, that Christ, Christ. 

(1) " Jam si sine dominio, regnare juvat," &c See Latin edition, p. 17. This passage is thus 
given in the English editions of Foxe : " If it do suffice thee to rule with the Lord."— Ed. 


Richard througli his povcrtv, humility, and suffering of injury, got unto him 

' the children of his kingdom. 
A. D. And moreover, as far as I remember, the same blessed man 
'13^'i- Bernard, in his third book, writeth also thus unto Eugenius, " I 
fear no poison so great to happen unto thee, as greedy desire of 

This WicklifF, albeit in his lifetime he had many grievous enemies, 
vet was there none so cruel to him, as the clergy itself. Yet, not- 
withstanding, he had many good friends, men not only of the meaner 
sort, but also of the nobility, amongst whom these men are to be 
numbered, John Clenbon, Lewes Clifford, Richard Stury, Thomas 
Latimer, William Nevil, and John Montague, who plucked down 
Penance all the images in his church. Besides all these, there was the earl of 
ead'^of Salisbury, who, for contempt in him noted towards the sacrament, in 
Salisbury, carrying it home to his house, was enjoined by Ralph Ergoni, bishop 
of Salisbury, to make in Salisbury a cross of stone, in Avhich all the 
story of the matter should be written : and he, every Friday during 
his life, to come to the cross barefoot, and bareheaded in his shirt, 
and there kneeling upon his knees to do penance for his deed.^ 

The Londoners at this time, somewhat boldly trusting to the 
mayor''s authority, who for that year was John of Northampton, took 
upon them the office of the bishops, in punishing the vices, belonging 
to civil law, of such persons as they had found and apprehended in 
committing both fornication and adultery ; for, first, they put the 
women in the prison, which, amongst them, was then named Dolium ; 
and lastly, bringing them into the market-place, where every man 
might behold them, and cutting off their golden locks from their 
heads, they caused them to be carried about the streets, with bag- 
pipes and trumpets blown before them, to the intent they should be 
the better known, and their companies avoided ; according to the 
manner then of certain thieves that were named " Appellatores," 
accusers or impeachers of others that were guiltless, who were so 
served. And with other such like opprobrious and reproachful con- 
tumelies did they serve the men also that were taken with them in 
Fruits of committing the aforenamed wickedness and vices. Here the story 
uue doc- recordetli how the said Londoners were encouraged hereunto by John 
Wickliff, and by others who his doctrine, to perpetrate this 
act, to the reproach of the prelates of the clergy ; for they said, that 
they did not only abhor to see the great negligence of those, to whom 
that charge belonged, but also their filthy avarice they did as much 
detest, who, for greediness of money, were choaked with bribes, and 
winking at the penalties due to such persons by the laws appointed, 
suffered such fornicators and incestuous persons favourably to continue 
in their wickedness. They said, furthermore, that they greatly feared, 
lest for such wickedness perpeti'ated within the city, and so apparently 
dissembled, God would take vengeance upon them, and destroy their 
city. Wherefore they said, that they could do no less than purge 
the same ; lest, by the sufferance thereof, God should bring a plague 
upon them, or destroy them with the sword, or cause the earth to 
swallow up both them and their city.^ 

(1) Ex Chron. Mon. D. Albani, in Vita Ric. II. (2) Ibid. 



This story, "-entle reader, althouu:h tlie author thereof, whom I ^''^j'^"'-'^ 
follow, doth give it out in reproachful terms to the great discom- 
mendation of the Londoners for so doing, yet I thought not to ^^g^" 

omit, but to commit the same to memory ; which seemeth to me '-- 

rather to tend unto tlie worthy commendation both of the Londoners 
and the aforesaid John of Northampton, the mayor. *iA notable 
and worthy example, doubtless, of a true magistrate ; which man, if 
they that follow him now in like office, would also follow him in like 
severity and diligence, I doubt not but that it would be better with 
the city of Ijondon, for the good reformations of the people : so that, 
we had not either fallen into this tempest of great misery, wherewith 
all the realm of England is now plagued, or else, we should yet the 
sooner shake off the j^lague, and put it away. But now, while the 
princes do attend and give ear to blind prophecies, the bishops play 
the t}Tants,^ the divines are drowned in ambition, the prophets slain, the . 
noblemen fall into all kinds of lascivious wantonness, the magistrates 
wink at vice unpunished, the common people run into all kinds of 
lasciviousness ; while prostitution, divorcements, adultery, avarice and 
covetousness, craft and deceit, drunkenness, contentions, usury and 
perjury, with all other kinds of vice and wickedness, overflow now 
the realm, what marvel is it, if all the joints and fi-ames of the com- 
monwealth being loosed asunder, all things run in heaps, to ruin 
and decay.' 

Hitherto it may be thought, that we are sufficiently instructed by 
the great scourges, plagues, and miseries which have happened ; and 
except we are so, nothing Avill teach us what it is to fall into the hand 
of the Lord, and what it is to abuse his holy gospel. Time it is, 
yea, and high time doth require it, that we now, forsaking and wear- 
ing weary of our old corruptions and evils, may at length convert 
and turn the wrath and displeasure of God, into his mercy and favour ; 
which thing we shall soon do, if we first of all ourselves, do correct 
and amend our lives, and change our vice into virtue ; but of this 
matter (God willing) we Avill find another place to treat. Now Ave 
will return again to the favourers of Wickliff, amongst whom is to 
be counted the lord Cobham, who is reported openly to have con- 
fessed (as Walden writeth) that he did never with his heart hate 
sin, before he was instructed and taught by Wickliff. All these 
were noble men, yet was there no want amongst the meanest sort of 
such as, with all their diligence, did defend his doctrine ; and espe- 
cially among the Oxford men, of whom there was not one that escaped 
free without some kind of mark ; for either they were most shame- 
fully forced unto recantation, or most cruelly judged to the fire.* 
After these things thus declared, let us now add the testimonial of 
the university of Oxford in favour of John Wickliff. 

The Public Testimony given by the University of Oxford, touching 
the great Learning and crood Life of John Wickliff.* 
Unto all and singular the children of our holy mother the church, to whom 

(1) See edition, 15G3, p. 100. Also the Lat. edition, p. 18.— Ed. 

(2) " Play the tyrai'ts." " Ejjiscopi Ti'pan-ei'ovcri, ambitione insaniiuit theologi." Lat. edition, 
1569, p. 18.— Ed, 

(3) '• \Vhat marvel," kc. " Quid miruin, si luxatis undique reipublica? compagibus, ruinam 
demumac 7ravo\f#piai/ spectare omnia videantur." Lat. ed. l.')59, p. 18. — En. 

(■4) The enemies of Wicklift" have endeavoured to o\eithrow the auvlieiitiiity of this valuable 



Richard this present letter shall come, the vice-chancellor of the university of Oxford, 
^'- with the whole congregation of the masters, wish perpetual health in the Lord. 
Forasmuch as it is not commonly seen, that the acts and monuments of vahant 
men, nor the praise and merits of good men should be passed over and 
hidden with pei-petual silence, but that true report and fame should conti- 
nually spread abroad the same in strange and far distant places, both for the 
witness of the same, and the example of others ; forasmuch also as the provi- 
dent discretion of man's nature, being recompensed with cruelty, hath devised 
and ordained this buckler and defence against such as do blaspheme and slander 
other men's doings, that whensoever witness, by word of mouth, cannot be pre- 
sent, the pen, by wn-iting, may supply the same : 

Hereupon it followeth, that the special good will and care which we bear 
unto John WicklifF, sometime child of this our university, and professor of 
divinity, moving and stirring our minds (as his manners and conditions required 
no less), with one mind, voice, and testimony, we do witness all lais conditions 
and doings, throughout his whole life to have been most- sincere and corn- 
Great mendable; whose honest manners and conditions, profoundness of learning, 
learning gj^jj niost redolent renown and fame, we desire the more earnestly to be notified 
with good and known unto all the faithful, for that we understand the maturity and ripe- 
life and ness of his conversation, his diligent labours and travails, to tend to the praise 
godliness. ^^ q^^^ ^j^g j^gjp ^j^^ safeguard of others, and the profit of the church. 

Wherefore we signify unto you by these presents, that his conversation, even 
from his youth upward, unto the time of his death, was so praiseworthy and 
honest, that never at any time was there any note or spot of suspicion reported 
of him. But, in his answering, reading, preaching, and determining, he be- 
haved himself laudably, and as a stout and valiant champion of the faith ; 
vanquishing by the force of the Scriptures, all those, who, by their wilful beg- 
gary, blasphemed and slandered Christ's religion. Neither was this doctor 
convicted of any heresy, nor burned of our prelates after his burial.^ God for- 
bid, that our prelates should have condemned a man of such honesty, as a 
heretic ; who, amongst all the rest of the university, had written in logic, phi- 
losophy ,divinity, moralit}', and the speculative arts, without his peer. The know- 
ledge of which all and singular things, we do desire to testify and deliver forth ; 
to the intent that the fame and renown of this said doctor may be the more 
evident and had in reputation amongst them unto whose hands these present 
letters of testimonial shall come. In witness whereof, we have caused these 
our letters testimonial to be sealed with our common seal. 

Dated at Oxford in our congregation-house, the fifth day of October, in 
the year of our Lord, 1406.* 

The Testimony and Judgment of Master Jolm Huss, touching 
Master John Wickliff. 

Verily, as I do not believe, neither grant, that Master John Wickliff" is a 
heretic, so do I not deny, but firmly hope that he is no heretic ; forasmuch as 
in all matters of doubt, I ought, as near as I can, to choose the best part. 
Wherefore I surely trust, that Master John Wickliff is one of the number of 
them who are saved. The words of Christ move me thereunto, saying [Matt. 
vii.] " Do ye not judge, that ye be not judged," and [Luke vi.] " Do not con- 
demn, and ye shall not be condemned ;" and the words of the apostle [1 Cor. iv.] 
Motives " Do ye not judge before the Lord himself do come, who shall open those 
of John things that are hid in darkness, to manifest the secrets of all hearts." 
un'deV-'' Secondly, The love and charity which I ought to bear unto my neighbour, 

take ^ loving him as myself, doth move me thereunto. [Luke x.] 
dlfencf ^ Thirdly, His good fame and report moveth me, which he bath of the good 

document : for the particulars of this controversy the reader is referred to Lewis's History, 
p. 183 to 192. Dr. Wordsworth remarks upon this subject (Ecc. Hist. Vol. I. p. 94 in the note): 
" As to the practical vahie and importance of this testimonial, we have ample evidence of the 
popularity at Oxford of Wickliffe's person and his cause, in the concessions and the complaints of 
his adversaries." Foxe gives the v/ritings of John Huss, as the source from whence he derived 
this document, and it stands at p. 24, in the Latin edition of his Acts and Monuments. — Ed. 

(1) The bones of Wicklitf were not yet commanded by the council of Constance to be 

'2) Fx. 2. tomo operum Jua. Huss. fol. uU. 


priests of the university of Oxford, and not of the wicked, and commonly of Ricliard 
the vulgar sort; although not of the covetous, proud, and luxurious priests iind ^^- 
prelates.* ^ j^ 

Fourthly, His own works and WTitings do stir mo tliereunto, by which he i-iaA 

gooth about with his whole endeavour to reduce all men unto the law of '— 

Christ, and especially the clergy, that they should forsake the pomp and 
dominion of this world, and, with the apostles, lead the life of Christ. 

Fifthly, His own protestations, which he doth oftentimes use in his sentences, 
often repeating the same, do not a little move me. 

Sixthly, His earnest desire and affection which he hath unto the law of 
Christ, doth not a little allure me thereunto, disputing of the verity thereof, which 
cannot fail in any one jot or tittle. Whereupon he made a book of the verity 
of the holy Scripture, approving, even unto the uttermost, the truth of God's 

Therefore, it were too foolish a consequence to say, that because the multi- 
tude of the prelates and clergy in England, France and Bohemia, do count 
John Wickliff a heretic, that therefore he is a heretic, &e. Like as is the Bumiiifr 
reason for burning the books; for it is written in the first book of Maccabees, '^^ books 
the first chapter, that " They did burn the books of the Lord, tearing them in of his 
])ieces, and whosoever was found to have kept any books of the Testament of the beinj,' he- 
Lord, or which observed and kept the law of the Lord, he was, by the king's "^'^^"'^ " 
commandment, put to death." If then the burning of the books by wicked 
men, did argue or prove the evil of these books, then was the law of God evil 
and naught. 

So likewise the burning of St. Gregorj''s books, and those of divers other 
saints and good men, should argue and prove that they were evil and naughty 
men. Whereupon as it doth not follow, that because the bishops, scribes, and 
pharisees, with the elders of the people, condemned Christ Jesus as a heretic, 
that therefore he is a heretic ; so likewise doth it not follow, of any other man, p^j^^ 
that because the bishops, masters of divinity, monks, and prelates, condemned conse- 
that man as a heretic, ergo, he is a heretic. For this consequent is reproved qu«=>'ce 
by the blessed John Chrysostome, who was twice condenmed as a heretic by by^ciiry- 
the bishops and the whole of he clergy. Likewise St. Gregory, in his books, was sostome. 
condemned by the cardinals. 

By like proof also, as they affirm Master John Wickliff to be a heretic, Duke of 
John duke of Lancaster, a man of worthy memorj^ and progenitor of Heniy, Lancas- 
king of England, should he a heretic. Because the said duke defended, fa- fende/of 
voured, and greatly loved Master John Wickliff: ergo, the said duke is or was Wickliff. 
a heretic ; the consequent is good. The minor is well known to English- 
men. The major appeareth in the canon, where it is said, " He who defendeth 
a heretic," &c. 

But, these things set apart, I demand of the adversary, whether Master John Wickliff 
Wickliff be damned for ever or no? If he say, that he is damned because Proved no 
he is a heretic, I propound this unto him : whether Master John Wickliff, whilst 
he lived, held any false doctrine contrary to the holy Scriptiu^es? If he do 
affirm it, let him then show what doctrine it is, and ailerwards declare that he 
held it obstinately. But he shall find that in his books, he always wrote most 
commendable protestations against obstinacy and stiff-neckedness. And, by 
and by, afterwards. Master John Stokes in his " Intimation" saith, that Master 
John Wickliff, in England, is counted for a heretic. 

This seemeth also false by the letter testimonial of the university 
of Oxford, to which there is more credit to be given than unto 
liira. And this shall suffice for the present. 

Now as we have declared the testimony of the university of 
Oxford, and of John Huss, concerning the praise of John Wickliif, 
it followeth, likewise, that we set forth and express the contrary 
censures and judgments of his enemies, blinded with malicious hatred 
and corrupt affections against him, especially of the pope's council 

(r, " Prelatis et sacerdotibus." Lat. edition, p. 24. 
(2) Lib. de sensu et veritate Scripturae per J. Wicklcv 



Richard gathered at Constance ; proceeding, first, in condemning his books, 

^^- then his articles, afterwards burning liis bones. The copy of the sen- 

A. D. tence sriven asfainst him by that council here foUoweth. 
1384. ^ " 

The Sentence given by the Council of Constance, in condemna- 
tion of the Doctrine, and Five and Forty Articles of John 
WicldifF. A.D. 1415. 

The most holy and sacred council of Constance, making and representing 
the catholic church, for the extirpation of this present schism, and of all other 
errors and heresies springing and growing under the shadow and pretence of 
the same, and for the reformation and amendment of the church, being law- 
fully congregated and gathered together in the Holy Ghost, for the perpetual 
memory of the time to come : 

We are taught by the acts and histories of the holy fathers, that the catholic 
faith, without which, as the holy apostle St. Paul saith, it is impossible to 
please God, hath been always defended by the faithful and spiritual soldiers 
of the church, by the shield of faith, against the false worshippers of the 
same faith, or rather perverse impugners ; who, through their proud curiosity, 
will seem to know more, and to be wiser than they ought to be, and for 
the desire of the glory of the world, have gone about oftentimes to overthrow 
the same. These kinds of wars and battles have been prefigured to us before 
in those carnal wars of the Israelites against the idolatrous people. For in 
those spiritual wars the holy catholic church, through the virtue and power 
of faith, being illustrated with the beams of the heavenly light by the provi- 
dence of God, and being holpen by the help and defence of the saints 
and holy men, hath always continued immacidate, and, the darkness of 
errors, as her most cruel enemies, being put to flight, she hath most gloriously 
triumphed over all. But in these our days, the old and unclean enemy hath 
raised up new contentions and strifes, that the elect of this world might be 
known, whose prince and captain in time past was one John WicklifF, a 
false christian ; who, during his lifetime, taught and sowed very obstinately 
many articles contrary to and against the christian religion, and the catholic 
faith. And the same John Wickliff wrote certain books which he called a 
Dialogue, and a Trialogue, besides many other treatises and works, which he 
both wrote and taught, in which he wrote the aforesaid, and many other 
damnable and execrable articles; which his books for the publication and 
advancement of his perverse doctrine, he did set forth openly for every man 
to read, whereby, besides many offences, great hurt and damage of soul hath 
ensued in divers regions and countries, but, especially in the kingdoms of 
England and Bohemia. Against whom the masters and doctors of the univer- 
sities of Oxford and Prague, rising up in the truth and verity of God, accord- 
ing to the order of the schools, within a while after did reprove and condemn 
the said articles. 

Moreover, the most reverend fathers, the archbishops and bishops, at that 
time present, of Canterbuiy, York, and Prague, legates of the apostolic see, in 
the kingdoms of England and Bohemia, did condemn the books of the said WicklifF 
to be burnt. And the said archbishop of Prague, commissary of the apostolic 
see, did, likewise, in this behalf, determine and judge. And, moreover, he did 
forbid that any of those books, which did remain unburned, should be hereafter 
any more read. And again, those things being brought to the knowledge and 
understanding of the apostolic see, and in the general council, the bishop of 
Rome, in his last council, condemned the said books, treatises, and volumes, 
commanding them to be openly burned : most straitly forbidding that any men 
who should bear the name of Christ should be so hardy either to keep, read, or 
expound any of the said books or treatises, volumes, or works, or by any means 
to use or occupy them ; or else to allege them openly or privily but to their 
reproof and infamy. And, to the intent that this most dangerous and filthy 
doctrine should be utterly wiped away out of the church, he gave command- 
ment throughout all places, that the ordinaries should diligently inquire and 
seek out, by the apostolic authority and ecclesiastical censure, for all such 
books, treatises, volumes, and works ; and the same so being found, to burn 
and consume them with fire ; providing withal, that if there be any such found 


■wars of 
by the 
wars of 
the Is- 

and Tria- 
logue of 

His books 
ed to be 

Words of 
due pro- 


who will not obey, the same pi-ocess to be made against them, as against the Richard 
favourers and maintainors of heresies. And this most holy synod hath caused ^^- 
the said forty-hvo articles to be exaniinid, iuul oftentimes perused, by many ^ jj 
most reverend fixthers of the church of Uoine, cardinals, liishops, abbots, masters j^'g^' 

of divinity, and doctors of both laws, besides a great number of other learned L 

men ; which articles being so examined, it was found (as in truth it was no Ask my 
less) that many, yea and a great number of them be notoriously, for heretical, be a thief, 
reproved and condemned by the holy fathers ; others not to be catholic, but §(, „.(. 
erroneous ; some fidl of offence and blasphemy ; certain of them ofiensive unto hear you 
godly ears, and many of them to be rashful and seditious. It is found, also, ^^^^ 
that his books do contain many articles of like efi'ect and quality, and that they 
do induce and bring into the church unsound and unwholesome doctrine,* 
contrary unto the faith and ordinance of the church. Wherefore, in the name So 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, this sacred synod, ratifying and approving the {{|°"^|'' 
sentences and judgments of the archbishops and council of Rome, do, by this jiers per- 
their decree and ordinance perpetually, for evermore, condemn and reprove the petually 
said articles, and every one of them, his books which he entitled his " Dialogue " |io„.^,'^'* 
and " Trialogue,'"^ and all other books of the same author, volumes, treatises, Christ 

and works, by what name soever they be entitled or called, which we will here f™.'" 
to be sufficiently expressed and named. Also, we forbid the reading,^ learning, o^mar- 
exposition, or alleging of any of the said books unto all faithfid Christians, but vellous 

so far forth as shall tend to the reproof of the same ; forbidding all and singular ^^"^"1 
catholic persons, under the pain of curse, that from henceforth they he not so xhough 
hardy openly to preach, teach, or hold, or by any means to allege the said the sepul- 
articles, or any of them, except, as is aforesaid, that it do tend unto the reproof chre be 
of them ; connnanding all those books, treatises, works, and volumes aforesaid, Christ ' 
to be openly burned, as it was decreed in the synod at Rome,* as is before will rise. 
expressed : for the execution whereof duly to be observed and done, the said 
sacred synod doth straitly charge and command the ordinaries of the place 
diligently to attend and look to the matter, according as it appertaineth to every 
man's duty by the canonical laws and ordinances. 

What these articles were, here condemned by the council, collected 
out of all his works, and exhibited to that council, to the number of 
forty-five, the copy of them here following declareth. 

Certain other Articles gathered out of Wickliflfs Books by his 
Adversaries, to the Number of Forty-five, exhibited to the 
Council of Constance after his Death, and in the same Council 

Note. — Besides the twenty-four articles above mentioned, there were others 
also gathered out of his books, to the number of forty-five, which his mahcious 
adversaries, perversely collecting, and maliciously expounding, did exhibit 
to the council of Constance ; all which to repeat, though it be not here needful, 
yet to recite certain of them as they stand in that council, it shall not be 

25. All such as be hired for temporal living to pray for others, offend, and 
sin of simony. 

26. The prayer of a reprobate prevaileth for no man. 

27. All things happen from absolute necessity. s 

(1) " Unwholesome," because they teach apainst the pomp of the pope. 

(2) Because this " trialogue" teareth the pope's triple crown. [Tlie ancient crown or " tiara" 
(mentioned at page 172 of vol. ii.) was a round high cap. Pope John XXIII. first encircled it with 
a crown; Boniface added to it a second crown, and Benedict XII. added the third. This covering 
for the head of the pope, which has increased in splendour, as his church has increased in pride, 
is the badge of his civil right, as the keys are of his spiritual jurisdiction ; for as soon as the pope 
is dead, his arms are represented with the tiara alone, without the keys. — Eb.] 

(.3) Upon this injunction against Wickliff's works, Foxe observes, " Rub a galled horse on the 
hack, and he will wince." By which he means, that the church of Rome, having been once made 
to smart under the attacks of WicklifT, was anxious that old wounds should not be reopened, and 
therefore condemned and reprobated his writings. — Ed. 

(4) " At Rome," nether barrel, better herring. 

(5) This article, omitted in all the English editions of Foxe, is here restored to its place from the 
Latin edition of 1559, p. 30. " Omnia de necessitate absolute eveniunt." To this our author 


Rkiuird 28. The confirmation of young persons, the ordination of the clergy, and 
II- the consecration of places, be reserved to the pope and prelates, from a desire 
. „ of temporal lucre and honour.^ 

29. Graduations and doctorships in universities and colleges as they be used, 
^' conduce nothing to the church. 

30. The excommunication of the pope and his prelates is not to be feared, 
because it is the censure of Antichrist. 

31. Such as found and build monasteries, do offend and sin, and all such as 
enter into the same, be members of the devil. 

32. To enrich the clergy is against the rule of Christ, 

33. Silvester the pope, and Constantine the emperor, erred in enriching the 

34. A deacon or a priest may preach the word of God without the authority 
of the apostolic see or that of a bishop. - 

35. Such as enter into orders, or religion monastical, are thereby luiable to 
keep God's commandments, and also to attain to the kingdom of heaven, except 
they return from the same. 

3G. The pope with all his clergy, having those great possessions which they 
have, be heretics in so having ; and the secular powers in so suffering them do 
not well. 

37. The church of Rome is the synagogue of Satan ; nor is the pope imme- 
diately the vicar of Christ and of the apostles. 

38. The letters decretal be apocryphal, and seduce from the faith of Christ ; 
and the clergy that study them be fools. 

39. The emperor and secular lords be seduced by the devil, when they 
enrich the church with temporal goods. 

0. It is not necessary to salvation to believe the church of Rome to be 
supreme head over all churches. 

41. It is infatuation to believe in the indulgences of the pope. 

42. All oaths which be made for any contract or civil bargain betwixt man 
and man, be unlawful. 

43. Augustine, Benedict, Bernard, with all such as have been patrons of 
private religion, except they have repented, with such 'also as have entered 
into the same, be in a damnable state, and so from the pope to the lowest 
novices, they be altogether heretics. 

44. All private religions whatsoever, indiscriminately introduced, are not 
from Christ." 

45. That all in the order of mendicants be heretics, and all who give them 
alms are excommunicate. 

Besides these articles, to the number of forty-five, condemned, 
as is said, by the council of Constance, other articles also I find 
diversely collected, or rather wrested out of the books and writings 

adjoins a side note ; " Et hie forte calumnia." The reader will indeed find the above article 
amongst those which follow, collected by William Woodford, but unless it is retained here with 
articles 44 and 45, inserted from the Latin edition, the number mentioned in the heading would 
be contradicted by the text, and the frequent and important references to the articles would be 
incorrect. The variations which occur in these copies of the conclusions of Wiekliffare accounted 
for in the following extract from the first edition of the Acts and Monuments, p. 107. " As con- 
cerning John Wickliff's conclusions which were condemned in the council of the earthquake, we 
have spoken before. Now, forasmuch as the slander of the adversaries doth further move me, 
it remaineth that we gather the articles exhibited and condemned in the council of Constance ; 
albeit that I do not tind all men to accord and agree, neither in the order, neither in the number 
of them. For William Widford [Woodford] in his Impugnation which he dedicated unto Thomas, 
archbishop of Canterbury, numbereth them after one sort, and John Huss after another." 

" And. again, the copy of Cologne, which here we do follow, doth dijfer from them both, as the 
apology of John Huss doth declare, where the 15, IG, 17 articles are placed after another order 
than they be set forth in other books, as it shall appear by his defence, which we will annex 
immediately upon the articles, forasmuch as it is most evident that there were 45 articles put up 
unto the council of Constance, and in the catalogue of Cologne is found but 44 articles." — Ed. 

(1) As in the English editions of Foxe this article is either incorrectly translated, or is copied 
from Huss, Woodford, or others, the clause, as it appears in the Latin edition, p. 26, is subjoined, 
and retained, in English, in the text above. — Ed. 

" Confirraatio juvenum, clericorum ordinatio, locorum consecratio, reserventur papas et epis- 
opis, propter cupiditatem lucri temporalis et honoris." — Ed. 

(2) The words " or that of a bishop" have been added from the Latin ; where is a note also, 
" De pontifieiis sentit episcopis." — Ed. 

(3) This article is only found in the Latin edition, p. 27. — " Omnes religiones privatae, indifferen- 
ter introductas, non sunt h Christo." — Ed. 

(4) See article 14, in Latin edition, p. 26. — Ed. 


of Wickliff ; some by William Woodford, and some by Waldcn, inchnrd 
friar Tissington, and others, whom they, in their books, have impugned ^'' 

rather than confuted; in the number of which writers William A.D. 

Woodford especially findeth out these articles, and writeth against ^^^'^- 
the same, to the number of eighteen, as hereunder follow. 

Articles against Wickliff collected by William Woodford. 

1. The bread remaineth in its own substance, after the consecration thereof 
upon the altar, and ceaseth not to be bread still. 

2. As John was figuratively Elias, and not personally ; so the bread is 
figuratively the body of Christ, and not natui-ally. And, without all doubt, 
this is a figurative speech, to say, " This is my body ;" as to say, " This John 
is Elias." 

3. In the decree, " Ergo Bercngarius," the court of Rome iiath determined, 
that the sacrament of the holy Eucharist is naturally true bread. 

4. They who do affirm that the infimts of the faithful, departing without 
the sacrament of baptism, are not saved, be presumptuous and fools in so 

5. The administration of the sacrament of confirmation is not only reserved 
to the bishops. 

6. In the time of St. Paul, only two orders of clerks did suffice in the church, 
priests and deacons. Neither was there in the time of the apostles any distinction 
of popes, patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops; but these the emperor's pride 
did find out. 

7. Such as in times past, either for covetousness of temporal lucre, or in 
hope of mutual succour by kindred, or for cause to excuse their lust (although 
they despaired of issue), were married, were coupled together not by tnie 

8. The causes of divorcement, either for spiritual consanguinity, or for 
affinity^ be not founded on Scripture, but are only ordinances of men. 

9. These words, " I will take thee to wife," are rather to be taken in contract 
of matrimony, than these words, " I do take thee to wife." And the contract 
with any party, by the words of the future tense, ought not to be frustrated 
for the contract with any party afterwards made by the words of the present 

10. There be twelve disciples of Antichrist : popes, cardinals, patriarchs, 
archbishops, bishops, archdeacons, officials, deans, monks, canons, friars, and 

11. In the Book of Numbers, chap, xviii., and in Ezekiel, chap, xliv., it is 
commanded simply, that neither the priests of Aaron, nor the Levites should 
have any part of inheritance with other tribes, but should live merely by tithes 
and oblations. 

12. There is no gi-eater heretic or Antichrist than that clerk who teacheth 
that it is lawfid for priests and Levites, by the law of grace, to be endued with 
temporal possessions. And if there be any heretics, apostates, or blasphemers, 
these clerks be such. 

13. It is not only la\\'fid for the lords temporal to take away goods of fortxme 
from the chmchmen, sinning usually, but also they are bound so to do, under 
pain of eternal damnation. 

14. He that is the more humble and more serviceable to the church, and 
more enamoured with the love of Christ, is^ in the church militant, the greater, 
and, then, nearest vicar of Christ. 

15. If corporal unction or anoyling were a sacrament, as now it is feigned 
to be, Christ and his apostles would not have left the ordinance thereof 

16. Unto the true dominion secular, is required virtuous life of him that 

17. All things that happen do come absolutely of necessity. 

18. Whatsoever the pope or his cardinals can deduce clearly out of the 
Scripture, that only is to be believed, or to be done at their monition ; and 
whatsoever otherwise they do command, is to be condemned as heretical. 


Richard Bcsidcs tliis William Woodford aforementioned,' divers others 

" there were who wrote against these articles of Wickliif aforesaid, 

A.D. maintaining the pope's part, as seemeth, for flattery, rather than 

^^^^- following any just cause so to do, or showing forth any reason or 

learning in disproving the same. Notwithstanding, on the contrary 

part, some there were again both learned and godly, who, taking the 

part of WicklifF, without any flattery, defended the most of the said 

articles openly in schools and other places. 

*^Thus you have the whole sum of Wickliffs articles, containing 
nis whole doctrine, described and set forth ; albeit not as he hath 
uttered them, but as his froward adversaries have compiled and 
collected them out of his writings. Wherefore, if some of them 
seem hard or strange, I think it rather to be imputed to their evil 
will, than to his good meaning ; as it might soon appear if his books 
had been now extant to testify of his doctrine. But this is certain ; 
howsoever his articles were taken of the wicked and evil disposed, 
with all good men he Avas highly favoured, and had in such estima- 
tion for his profound knowledge and great learning, that also foreign 
nations were moved with his authority. Amongst all others the 
Bohemians had him in great reverence for the opinion of his sin- 
gular learning, that John Huss, the greatest doer in the university of 
Prague, not only took profit of his doctrine, but also openly de- 
fended his articles. Insomuch that in his public disputation and 
solemn acts after the manner of schools, he took upon him the 
public defence of divers of the said articles ; namely, upon the four- 
teenth, fifteenth, and seventeenth, with others more ; whose dispu- 
tation upon the same matter, if it shall not seem tedious to the 
reader to understand, it shall not seem grievous to me to declare ; 
not only for the antiquity of the matter, but also for the utility of 
the same.* 


The Determination of John Huss upon the Thirteenth Article of 
Wicklifi^, touching the Preaching and Hearing of the Word of 
God, made in the Year of our Lord 1412. 

Forasmuch as to condemn the truth wittingly, or without reasonable examina- 
tion, doth tend to great danger of salvation, as the Lord saith, [Luke vi.] " Do 

(1) Tractat. frat. W. Woodford contra Trialogum Wicklevi. 

(2) See edition 15G3, p. lOS. The reader's attention is particularly directed to this passage, as 
it accounts for the " hard and strange things," which are set forth in Wickliff's articles. They 
seem, indeed, in some cases, to be isolated passages, extracted from his writings, or casual ex- 
pressions falsely reported, to suit the malicious intentions of his enemies. It is needless to add, 
that the Romish church has never ceased to adduce these adulterated articles, as proofs of the 
dangerous doctrines of the reformer ; and this, too, in such strong terms as would well nigh shake 
our confidence in the general soundness of Wickliff's views, were it not that we possess abundance 
of his other writings to refute this slander, and to confirm us in the opinion of his piety and 
sincerity. One of his greatest works was the translation of the New Testament into the vulgar 
tongue, of which the following is an extract : — " The New Testament, with the Lessons taken 
out of the Old Law, read in churches according to the use of Sarum ; translated into English from 
the vulgar Latin, by ,Iohn Wicklif, D.D. rector of Lutterworth. 13S0. Luke ii. — And scheperdis 
weren in the same cuntre, wakinge and kepinge watchis of the night on her flok. And lo the 
aungel of the lord stood bisidis hem, and the clerenesse of God schynede aboute hem ; and thei 
dredden vrith grete drede. And the aungel seyde to hem, nyle ye drede, for lo Y preche to you a 
grete Joye that schal be to alle peeple. For a savyour is borun to day to you, that is Crist the 
Lord in the cytee of Davith. And this is a tokene to you, ye shulen fynde a younge child wlappid 
in clothis, and leyd in a cracche. And sodeinly ther was maad with the aungel a multitude of 
hevenly knyghthood, heryinge God and sciynge ; Glorye be in higheste thingis to God, and in 
erthe pees be to men of good wille." — Ed. 


ye not condemn, and ye shall not be condcnnied :" therefore, to avoid this great jiu/wrd 
danger, the nniversity of Prague, and the whole commonalty thereof, the rector, •'^• 
masters, doctors, bachelors, and students, in their general assembly, not agreeing . t\ 
to the condemnation pronounced by the doctors in their council-house, require 1004' 

of the said doctors a reasonable j)roof of their condenmation, and that they '_ 

should by Scripture, authority, or infallible reason, prove the falsehood of every The 
those live and forty articles ; the which being once done, the said university will unUer- 
Jigree to the said condenmation as just. For the university doth well know, sity of 
that, as Augustine saith, at the end of his second book of Christian Doctrine, ^'^i'?"^''* 
" Whatsoever a man doth learn besides the holy Scriptures, if it be hurtful, the judg- 
there it is condenmed; if it be profitable, there it is found. And when a man ment of 
hath found all things therein which he hath prolitably learned elsewhere, he Jl'^s'lvho 
shall much more abundantly lind those things which are found in no place else, cendemn- 

but are learned in the marvellous deptli and marvellous profoundness of those S'' "'" 

] . . ■ . 1 1) '■ *^ forty-five 

most sacred Scriptures only. articles. 

Thus writeth Augustine. And Gregory, in his twenty-third book of Morals, 
saith thus: " (rod, in the holy Scripture, hath comprehended whatsoever thing 
may happen unto any man, and in the same hath, by the examples of those 
who are gone before, taught those who arc to come, how to reform their lives." 
Whereby it appeareth that if every of the five and forty articles containeth in 
it wholly the thing that is false and untrue, the same is either plainly or darkly 
condemned in the holy Scrij)tures. 

Secondly, it followeth by the sentence and mind of this holy man, that if the 
condenmation of the five and forty articles be profitable, the same is found in 
the holy Scriptures. And whereas again St. Augustine writeth unto St. Jerome, 
in his eighth epistle, and the ninth distinction, " I," saith he, " have learned 
to attribute this honour and reverence unto those writers only who are called 
canonical, that I dare atiirm none of them to have erred in their works or 
writings. As for all other writers, I do so read them, that although they abound 
with never so much holiness, or excel in doctrine, I do not by and by think it 
true because they themselves do so judge ; but if they can, by other canonical 
authors or probable reasons, persuade or prove that they do not digress from 
the truth." 

Also the said Augustine, in his book ' De Unico Baptismo,' lib. ii., saith 
thus : " Who doth not know or understand the holy canonical Scripture to be 
contained in his own bonds and limits, and the same to be preferred before all 
other letters and decrees of bishops," &c. And, a little after, he hath the like 
saying, as for the letters of other bishops which have been written, or be 
written (after the canon, being confirmed), they may lawfully be reprehended 
and reproved, both by the word of them that be more skilful in that matter, 
and also by the ancient authority of other bishops, or by the prudence and 
wisdom of such as be better learned, or more expert, or else by general councils, 
if it so chance that they in any point have erred and gone asti'ay from the 
sincere truth. 

By these sayings of St. Augustine and others, &c., the university of Prague 
hath concluded and determined, that they will not receive the condemnation of 
the five and forty articles, matle by the doctors in their council-house, as just 
and true, unless they who condemned them W'ill prove their condenmation by 
the holy Scriptures and probable reasons upon every of the five and forty 

Wherefore, for the due examination of the aforesaid condemnation, whether 
it be effectual or no, we will at this present take in hand the fourteeidh article 
of the number of the five and forty ; which article is this : — 

" They who leave off preaching and hearing of the word of God, for fear of 
excomnmnication of men, are already excommunicate, and in the day of judg- 
ment shall be coiuited the betrayers of Christ." 

This article contain etli : First, that all priests, omitting the preaching of the 
word of God for feai* of excommunication of men, are already excommuni- 

Secondly, It containeth that all such as do omit the hearing of the word of 
God, for fear of excommunication, are already excommunicated. 

Thiidly, That both these sorts of men in the day of judgment, shall be 
counted traitors to Christ 



Rkhard As concerning the first point, it is pre-siipposed, tliat the preaching of the 

^^- word of God is commanded unto the apostles and their followers, as it appeareth 

. 1^ in Matt, x., where it is said, " Jesus sent his twelve disciph s, commanding 

T^oi" tl^cm and saying, Go and preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Also 

L in the last of Matthew, and the tenth of Luke. Whereupon Peter, the apostle 

The of Christ, acknowledging this precept and commandment for himself, and for 

orthc""")^ the other apostles and successors, in Acts x., saith thus : " He commanded us 
spel com- to preach and testify, that it is he which is ordained of God, the judge hoth of 
inantled jj^g quick and the dead." This commandment, also, the other apostles did 
^ *"' ' acknowledge, and especially the chosen vessel, pronouncing under a great 
threatening, [1 Cor. ix.] " 'Wo be unto me if I do not preach the gospel." And 
pope Nicholas, considering that great threatening in the forty-third distinc- 
tion, saith : " The dispensation and distribution of the heavenly seed is com- 
manded and enjoined unto us ; wo be unto us if we do not sow it abroad, or if 
we hold our peace." Which thing when the vessel of election did fear and cry 
out upon, how much more ought all other inferiors to fear and dread the same ! 
To the same pui-pose doth St. Gregory WTite, in his Pastoral, in the distinction, 
" Sit rector."' It is also evident by many other doctors and holy men, as by 
St. Augustine, Jerome, Isidore, Bernard, whose words it were too long here 
to rehearse. 
Tlie hear- As touching the second point, That the hearing of the word and law of God 
ing of the jg commanded unto the people, it is evident both by the old and new law ; for 
com- it is said in Proverbs [chap, xxviii.], " He that tiu-netli away his ear, and 
manded will not hear the law of God, his prayer shall be cursed." And our Saviour, 
by God. rebuking the Scribes and Pharisees, concludeth thus in John viii., saying, " He 
that is of God, heareth God's word ; but forasmuch as you are not of God, 
therefore you hear not his word." 
r.xcom- Thirdly, It is to be noted that excommunication is a separation from the 
munica- communion, 1 1 quest. 3 par., " Nihil ; "et cap. " Canonica ;" and 27 quest. 1 par., 
" Viduas;" 34 quest. 3 par., " Cum sacerdos." And this excommunication is 
Excom- double, that is to say, either secret or manifest. The secret excommunication 
Uon"'^^" is, whereby a man is separated from the mystical body of Christ, and so from 
double. God through sin, according unto the 59th of Isaiah, " Your iniquities have 
made separation between your God and you." And with this excommunication 
doth the apostle excommunicate every man who doth not love the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; saying in the firsth epistle to the Corinthians, and the last chapter, " If 
any man do not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed." The manifest 
and apert excommunication may be divided into a manifest excommunication by 
God which is spoken of in Matt, xxv., " Go, ye cursed," &c.p and oftentimes 
else in the law of God : also into a manifest excommunication by men, whereby 
the prelate doth either justly or unjustly cast out any man from the participation 
of the communion of tlie church ; whereof this shall suffice at this present. 
The Then, as touching the first part of the article, it is thus argued, &:c. 

proofs of Whosoever forsake or leave the commandments of God undone, they are 
parttrfthe excommunicate of God. But the priests who leave off the preaching of the 
article. word of God, for fear of the unjust exconnnunication of men, do leave the com- 
mandment of God undone. Ergo, those priests who do leave off preaching of 
the word, are excommunicated of God. 

The first part of this article is true : the major appeareth by the Psalm, 
" Cursed be they which do decline and swerve from thy precepts." The minor 
IS evident by the first proposition, which proveth that the preaching of the word 
of God is the commandment of God enjoined unto those priests and ministers. 
Whereupon the saying of our Saviour [Matt, xv.] is spoken unto them : " Where- 
fore do you transgress the commandments of God for your own traditions?" 
leaving off the preaching of the word of God for fear of unjust excommunica- 
tion ; and so dishonouring the father Christ, and the mother the holy church. 

It is thus confirmed : All they who do omit or let slip any manner of work, 
principally and sti-aitly enjoined tliem by the Lord Jesu Christ, under the cloak 
and colour of grace, for fear of any excommunication of men, are already excom- 
municate. But priests, and especially curates, admonialied by the Spirit of God, 
leaving off the preaching of the word of God for fear of the excommunication of 
men, omit and leave off, for fear of the same excommunication, a work principally 
(1) Greg. dist. 44, cap. 6, "Rector." 


and straitly enjoined them by the Lord Jesus Christ, under the cloak and colour Richard 

of grace : ergo, priests, and especially curates and such as be admonished and ^^- 

warned by the Spirit of Ciod, omitting the preaching of tlie word of God for ^ j)^ 

fear of excommunication, are excommunicate. The consequence is well known. 133 [ 

The major appeareth by the Psalm, " Cursed be tliey which do decline and go 

away from thy commandments." The minor is also evident again by the first 


Item, If the apostles of Christ had left offtlie preaching of the word of God The apo- 

for fear of the excommunication of men, whicli tlie Lord did foreshow unto ^"f* '*''^ 
1 • T 1 • ■ ri>i 111 ■ /• 1 ■ 1"' obey 

them ui John xvi., sayuig, " they snail excommunicate you out 01 their syna- any wick- 

gogues;" they had been excommunicated of God : ergo, by like evidence, the ert inhi- 
priests and ministers of Christ, being insj)ired with the same spirit to preach ^ '""' 
and declare the word of God, if they leave it undone for fear of the excommu- 
nication of men, are already excommunicate. The consequence dependeth 
upon a similitude, and the antecedent is evident ; for if the apostles had left off 
preaching for fear of excommunication, they had broken tlie commandments of 
God, and consequently had been accursed. Wherefore they, willing to observe 
and keep the commandments of God, and to put off the excommunication of 
men, said unto the higli priests, elders, and scribes at Jerusalem, to Annas, 
Caiphiis, John, and Alexander, and all others of the kindred of the priests who 
were gathered together, and commanded tliem that they sliould not preach or 
teach in the name of Jesus, " If it be just in the sight of God, that we should 
rather obey you than God, that judge you." [Acts iv.] And in tlie fifth of the 
Acts they said unto them, " We ought rather to obey God tiian man." By 
tliis saying of the Holy Ghost it is concluded, that the priests and ministers 01 
Christ, inspired by the Holy Ghost to preach the word of God, ought rather to 
obey the Holy Ghost, than those that shall prohibit and command them to the 
contrarj', and to sidier the excommunication of men patiently. Whereupon 
pope Anacletus spake very well in this, as it is written [Dist. 43,] : " We know," 
saith he, " that many do go about to molest and trouble the doctors and 
teachers to this end, that they might utterly destroy them, and fulfil their own 
proper lusts and desires : yet, notwithstanding, the said doctors, as much as in 
them lieth, ought not to depart or go back from their good doings and intent, 
knowing assuredly that blessed are they who suffer persecution for righteous- 
ness' sake." Thus much writeth he. And, upon these words, " Ye shall 
find an ass tied up, and a he-foal \vith her ; loose her and bring her unto me ; 
and if any man say any thing unto you, say ye that the Lord hath need of 
them," the reverend Bede writeth thus : " Here it is mystically commanded 
unto the doctors and teachers, that if any adversity do let or hinder, or any 
man do proliibit or stop, that sinners cannot be loosed from their bonds or 
snares, and be brought unto the Lord by the confession of their faith, that they, 
notwithstanding, should not leave off preaching, but constantly and boldly afiirin 
and say, that tlie Lord hath need of such to edify and build again his church. 
For so did the apostles ; so likewise ought all the humble and meek ministers of 
Christ to do." And St. Jerome, writing to Rusticus, the bishop of Narbonne, 
saith thus : " Let no bishop fi-om henceforth be puffed up or inilamed with the 
en\y of devilish temptation, if the priests now and then do exliort and teach 
the people, or preach openly in the churches ; or, as it is said, do bless the 
people ; for unto him who should deny unto me the doing hereof, I would say 
in this manner: He that wills not that priests shoidd do those things which they 
are commanded by God, let him say that he is greater and above Christ;" by 
which words St. Jerome doth openly declare, that priests are commanded to 
exhort and teach the people, and to preach in the churches. Secondly, That a 
bishop, denying or forbidding the same to be done, specially the priests or 
ministers being apt men thereunto, is extolled above Christ ; and therefore, con- 
sequently, is not to be obeyed nor heard in his doings. 

Item, Admit that the pope be a heretic, iuul teach doctrine perverse and if the 
contrary to the holy Scriptures, and that the bisliop be a catholic man, unto pope he a 
whom the pope giveth in commandment that he shall suffer no man to preach the godly 
contrary to his opinion, as it happened in pope Leo, and St. Hilary the bishop : bishops 
adding this also, that the bishop do execute the pope's commandment, under "Jg^^j, 
pain of excommunication ; this notwithstanding, if the catholic priests, learned against 
in the law of God, do leave off preaching against the pope's heresies, for fear of li>™- 

F 2' 





' 1384. 

tlie chief 
priests be 
ers, j'et 
ought the 
to preach 

of Christ. 

ence of 

excommunication of men, they are already excommunicate ; which thing is 
evident, forasmuch as they are accursed through the consent of their silence, 
as St. Isidore saith, 11 quest. 1 par. : " He that doth consent unto sinners, or 
defendeth a sinner, he shall be cursed both before God and man, and shall be 
punislicd with a most severe rebuke." And in the 7th question, 4 par., " Om- 
nis," it is said : " He that doth neglect to amend that which he may correct, com- 
mittetli no less fault than he who had before offended ; for not only they who 
do commit the offence, but also they who consent thereunto, are judged par- 
takers thereof." In like case, priests who do not preach against tlie heresy 
wliich the pope teacheth, are dumb dogs, not able to open their mouths or bark 
against the wolf, which will kill the sheep of Jesus Christ : ergo, how can it then 
be otlierwise, but they must needs be betrayers of the sheep of their own shepherd ? 

Item, Let it be so, that the bishop with the chief prelates be adulterers, or 
otherwise open offenders, and that he, together with his prelates, do command 
under pain of excommunication, that none be so hardy as to preach against 
adultery ; in such a case, they who do omit their duty in preaching against 
adultery, for fear of excommunication of men, are already excommunicated of 
God : ergo, the first pai-t of the article is true. The antecedent is proved : for 
our Saviour, in Mark viii., saith thus : " He that acknowledgeth me and my 
words in this wicked and adulterous generation, the Son of Man shall also 
acknowledge and confess him when he shall come in the glory of his Father 
with his angels." Therefore he that shall confess Christ, and these words of 
Christ, [Matt, v.] " You have heard that it was said to them in old time, Thou 
shalt not commit adultery : but I say unto you, that every one which shall 
behold a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with lier in 
his heart:" he, I say, that shall confess these tilings before an adulterous 
bishop, with his chief prelates, who, perchance, are tlie wicked and adulterous 
generation, the Son of Man shall also acknowledge him, when he shall come 
in the glory of his Father, and so consequently is he blessed. Contrariwise 
he who, for the fear of excommunication of men, will not confess Christ and 
his words before the sinftil and adulterous generation, is accursed. The conse- 
quence holdeth by the words of Christ, [Luke ix.] " He that is ashamed of me 
and my words, him shall the Son of Man be ashamed of, when he shall come 
in his majesty, and in the glory of his Father, and his holy angels :" pronouncing 
that which is spoken, [Matt, xxv.] " Verily I say unto you, I know you not ; 
go you cursed into evenasting fire." 

Also our Saviour Jesus Christ did not omit, or leave off the preaching of the 
kingdom of God for any pretended excommunication of the bishops. Scribes, 
and Pharisees ; so likewise liis true and humble priests ought not to omit their 
preaching for any pretended excommunication of men ; the consequence holdetli 
by the saying of Christ, [John xv.] " Be ye mindfiil of the words which I have 
spoken unto you, the servant is not greater than his master : if they have per- 
secuted me, they will persecute you also." The antecedent is apparent by the 
saying of St. John, chap. ix. : " Even now the Jews had conspired, that whoso- 
ever did confess him to be Christ, should be excommunicate." And likewise, 
John vii. : " Whether did any of the princes or rulers, or any of the Pharisees 
believe in him? but this people which knoweth not the law are accursed." 

Also the humble and just ministers of God ought not, under pain of sin, to 
cease from the fruitful preaching of the law of God for any unjust excommu- 
nication, or unlawful commandment ; and it is proved thus : the humble and 
just ministers of Christ ought not to obey their prelates in such things as are 
contrary to God ; as all the holy doctors, and sucn as are learned in the law of 
God, do wholly with one consent affirm. And, forasmuch as an unjust excom- 
munication and imlawful commandments are against God, therefore the just 
and true ministers of God ought not to obey such unlawful excommunication 
and commandments ; and, consequently, ought not to cease for them from the 
fruitful preaching of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; but ought boldly and 
gladly to preach the same. Forasmuch as the Lord doth comfort them in 
Matt, v., saying thus : " Blessed and happy are ye when men do curse you and 
persecute you, and speak all kind of evil against you, making lies and slanders 
upon you for my sake ; rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven." 

Also every minister having power given him from above to preach the gospel, 
hath the same given unto him for the edifying of the church, and not for the 


dcstniction of the same ; as the apostle saith, [2 Cor. x.,] " 13ut every one Richard 
leaving off the preaching of the gospel, for fear of any pretended exconiinuni- ^^• 
cation of men, should frustrate the power given him for the edifying of the a |^ 
church." And, tliorefore, in so doing, lie should sin against God and his -looj' 

cluirch, and consequonMy ought rather to choose not to cease from preaching '— 

for fear of any such excommunication, lest that he be excomnmnicated of our .P''c<.ch- 
Lord Jesus Christ. pos-iei 

Item, Set a case that the pope doth command that there shall be no preach- nu-ant for 
ing in any place; then the ministers of Clirist, leaving off their preaching for ^'.''''"•■^- 
fear of the po])e"s curse, are already exconnnunicated of God : it is evident, iv.r de- 
forasmiich as they have neglected the commandment of Ciod for the command- struction. 
nient of men. And this case is possible ; for by what reason may the ])ope The 
command, under pain of excommunication, that there shall be no preaching in I'reacliing 
some place, and namely in tiie parisli churches? Ijy the same reason he may .'ospi-l is 
connnand that no man should preach in any place. The first part is evident "ot to be 
by the prohibition of pope Alexander, who in his bull did prohibit to preach .''il',!',"^'"'^ 
the word of God unto the ])eople in chapels, although the said chapels were pope's 
confirmed by the privilege of the see apostolic ; the which bull the lord Subincon, I'TOi'il^i- 
archbishop of Prague, with his canons, obtained. By these aforesaid, the first '" "' 
part of the article is evident, which is this, that all priests omitting the preach- 
ing of the word of God, for fear of the exconnnunication of men, are already 
excommunicate. The second part of the article is this : that all they who do Tlie 
omit the hearing of the word of God, for fear of the excommunication of men, proofs of 
are alreadj- excommunicate. And it is proved thus : all such as neglect the cond part 
commandments of (}od are excommunicate. But they who neglect the hear- of the 
ing of the word of (Jod, for the excommunication of men, are they who neglect ^""^'^• 
the commandments of God. Therefore they who omit the hearing of the word 
of God, for the excommunication of men, are already excommunicate. The 
major is apparent by Psalm cxviii., " Cursed be they which decline from thy 
commandments;" and the minor is evident by the second supposition, which 
saith, that tlie hearing of the word of God is commanded unto the people. 
This is confirmed : all such as omit the necessary means unto salvation are Means 
excommunicate. But, such as omit the hearing of the word of God, for the necessary 
excommunication by men, be such as do omit the necessary means unto salva- vationare 
tion : therefore, in so doing, they are excommunicate. The consequence is not to be 
plain : the major is made evident by this, that all such as do omit the neces- °™'"«'*- 
sary means unto salvation, do also neglect their salvation, and so are out of the 
way of salvation, and be excommunicated of God. The minor appeareth 
hereby, that to hear the Avord of God is the means most necessary unto salva- 
tion, as the apostle doth prove in Romans x. ; " How," saith he, " shall they 
believe on him, whom they never heard of? and how shall they hear without 
a preacher ?" And, by and by afterwards, the ajiostle inferreth to the same 
puq)ose, " That faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." 

Item, Whatsoever is done contrary to conscience, doth tend to eternal dam- A man 
nation ; as it is said, touching the restitution of the spoiled goods, chap, "u^'l't "> 
" Literas porro." But to omit tlie hearing of the word of God for fear of thing 
excommunication of men, is a thing which is done against conscience : there- apinst 
fore, to omit the hearing of tlie word of God for excomnumication, doth tend g^'feJ^,""" 
to eternal damnation, and therefore consequently ought not to be done, for 
fear of any excommmiication. Wherefore a woman being adjiulged to a man, 
whom she knoweth to be within the degrees of consanguinity which God's law- 
hath prohibited, ought not to obey that judgment, lest she offend against God ; 
but meekly and patiently to sustain the exconnnunication, i\s it appeareth in 
the chapter before alleged. So, likewise, all true Christians ought, rather than 
offend against God, meekly to suffer the excommunication of men, and not to 
omit the hearing of the word of God. To this purpose also serveth that which 
is spoken in the 1 1 quest. 3 par., " He that feareth the omnipotent God, will 
not presume by any means to do any thing contrary unto the gospel or apostles, 
either contrary unto the prophets, or tlie institutions of the holy fathers." By 
these premises, the second part of this ai'ticle is manifest, that all such as do 
omit the hearing of die word of God, for fear of excommunication of men, are 
already excommunicated. 

And forasmuch as all Christians, being of lawful age, not repenting at the 


Richard end, shall be counted in a manaer as traitors to Christ in the day of judg- 

^^- ment, because they were unfaithful servants of Christ, — therefore they who 

A T) through fear omit the preaching and hearing of the word of God, for the 

1004' excommunication of men, shall be counted as traitors to Christ, and shall 

'— render account thereof imto the Lord. Whereupon Chrysostome touching 

'^^®, , both those sorts in his 41st homily, showing how the Lord would have some 
the°hird to be teachers, and others to be cUsciples, saith thus: "For unto those whom 
part of he would have to be teachers, he speaketh thus by his prophet Isaiah : ' Ye 
tM ^'^" priests speak to the hearts of the people, for if the priests do not manifest 
all the truth unto the people, they shall render account thereof at the day of 
judgment : and, likewise, if the people do not learn the truth, they shall also 
give an account at the day of judgment.' " It is also made more evident by 
him in Matt, x., " ' Do not fear those Avhich kill the body,' lest through the 
fear of death, you do not freely speak that which you have heard, neither 
boldly preach that unto all men which you alone have heard in your ears. So 
that hereby alone it is evident that not only he is a betrayer of the truth, who, 
transgressing the truth, doth openly speak lies instead of the truth ; but he 
also who doth not freely pronounce, or doth not fi-eely defend the tnith, which 
he ought boldly to defend, is also a traitor unto the tnith. For like as the 
priest is a debtor to preach the truth which he hath heard of the Lord, even so 
the layman is bound to defend the truth, which he hath heard of the minister, 
approved by the Scriptures : which if he do not, then is he a traitor to the 
truth ; for steadfast belief with the heart, prevaileth unto righteousness ; the 
Chrysos- confession which is made with the mouth, helpeth unto salvation." Thus much 
'?™^'h^" '^''^"iteth Chrysostome, who, together with the people meekly bearing the ex- 
he ivas communication of the bishops, freely preached the truth, and the people heard 
excom- him ; and so by his word and his works he freely taught the truth, lest he 
cate" vet s^io^^l'l ^^ a traitor to the truth, and consequently be counted as a traitor to our 
he did Lord Jesus Christ in the day of judgment. And thus the third part of the 
preach. article aforesaid is manifest. 

The Defence of the Fifteenth Article of John Wickliff by John 


" It is lawftil for any deacon or priest to preach the word of God without the 
authority of the apostolic see, or of his catholics." 

First, I understand here by the authority of the apostolic see, his special 

consent properly authorizing. And, likewise, I understand by authority of the 

bishop, a special consent of the bishop authorizing the said deacon or priest 

to preach. 

Confir- Now as touching the truth of this article, I thus argue : like as after matri- 

mation mony once complete, the man and wife may lawfully, without any special 

fifteenth license of the pope or bishop, procreate carnal children, so likewise deacons or 

article. priests, by the motion of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ, may lawfully, 

Every -without any special license either of pope or bishop, generate spiritual children. 

jng law- Ergo, this article is true, and the antecedent is thus proved. For as it is an 

fully acceptable work unto God for man and wife, without the special license of the 

by the pope or bishop, to generate carnal children ; so it is acceptable imto him, that 

church, deacons or priests, by the motion of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ, 

ought to should lawfully generate spiritual children, without the special license of the 

the word pope or of any other bishop : ergo, the assumption is true. 

of God But if any man will deny this similitude, let him show the diversity. Yea, 

the pope's ^^ ^^ ^^ worse not to receive or to choke the seed of God's word, than the carnal 

license, seed, so contrariwise, it is better to receive and sow abroad that seed of the 

word of God, whereby children might be raised up unto God, than to receive 

or give seed whereby carnal children may be gotten. Whereupon our Saviour, 

in Matthew x., saith thus ; " Whosoever doth not receive you, neither heareth 

your words, wipe off the dust from your feet : verily I say unto you, that in the 

day of judgment it shall be better unto the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than 

to that city." 

Also a deacon or priest, being stirred by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, may 
preach the word of God without the special license of the pope cr bishop. 


Ergo, it is lawful for him so to do. The consequence is thus manifest ; so Richard 
much as the Spirit of God, moving the deacon or priest unto the preaching of ^^- 
the gospel, is of greater force tlian any prohibition of pope or bishop invented a tj 
by man : ergo, according unto the rule of the apostles, they ought infallibly to 233^" 

be obedient unto the Spirit of Clirist, wliich doth so move tliem thereunto, and 1- 

rather to obey God than man : [Acts v.] Also, by like reason, as Eldad and 
Medad, upon whom the Spirit of God did rest, did lawfully prophesy without 
requiring any license at Moses' hands, as it is written Numb. xi. ; for the same 
reason may the meek minister of Christ, upon whom the Spirit of God doth 
rest, without the requiring of any license either of the pope or bishop, lawfully 
preacii the word of God unto the people. And would to God in this behalf all 
prelates had the spirit of Moses; for it is said. Numb, xi., that when Eldad 
and Medad were prophesying in the tents, a child ran unto Moses, and told 
him, sapng; " Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the tents;" and by and by 
Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, whom he had chosen out amongst 
many, said, " My master Moses, forbid them :" and he said, " Why enviest 
thou for my sake ? Woidd God that all the people could prophesy, and that God 
the Lord would give them his Spirit!" O would to God the pope and bishops ^[*"^g''^' 
had the affections which this holy man, the friend of God, had ! Then would people 
he not prohibit the meek deacons and ministers of Jesus Christ to preach the may pro- 
gospel of Jesus Christ. The like affection had the blessed man Gregory, who, gt"^G^fe. 
in his twenty-second book of Morals, writing upon these words of Job, " And gorj'. 
I have not afflicted the soul of his husbandmen," saith thus: " The husband- 
men of this earth are these, who, being set in small authority, with as fervent 
desire as they can, and with as great labour as they may, do work by the 
preaching of grace, to the erudition of the holy church, which husbandmen of 
this world not to afflict, is not to envy their labours and doings : neither ought 
the ruler of the church, albeit he do challenge unto himself alone the title of 
preaching, through envy gainsay others who do preach tnily and uprightly. 
For the godly mind of the pastor, who seeketh not his own glory amongst men, 
desireth to be holpen ; which thing also the faithfid preacher doth wish, if it 
might by any means be brought to pass, that the truth, which he alone cannot 
sufficiently express, all men's mouths might declare. Whei-efore, when Joshua 
would have resisted the two who were prophesying in the host, ' why dost thou 
en\y,' saith he, ' for my sake?' for he did not envy that good in others which 
he himself had." Thus waiteth St. Gregory. 

Also the meek ministers of Christ have, by a special gift of God, knowledge The 
and mind to preach the gospel ; but it is lawful neither for the pope nor bishop, J^^" "^ "j 
nor any other man, to let or hinder them, lest thereby they should hinder the of God 
word of God, that it have not its free course. Ergo, this article is true ; for the ought not 
king doth not so much rule over the goods of his subjects, no not of his own stopped, 
sons, but that they may give alms to whom they will : much more the bishop 
hath not so great authority over the knowledge of the meek minister, with his 
other gifts of God, but that he may now freely, under the title of spiritual alms, 
freely preach the gospel unto the people. Ergo, forasmuch as it shoidd seem 
strange, that a bishop shoidd forbid any man to give any corporal alms to the 
poor that are an-hungered ; much more strange and marveUous would it be, if 
he should prohibit the spiritual minister of Christ to give spiritual alms, by the 
preaching of the gospel of the word of God. 

Item, No catholic man ought to doubt, but that a man able for the piu^ose, 
is more bound to teach those who are ignorant, to counsel and comfort the weak 
in spirit, to correct such as are unruly, to forgive those that do them wTong, 
than to do any other work of mercy • forasmuch then as he that hath sufficient 
is bound, under pain of damnation, to give corporal alms, as it appeareth in 
Matthew xxv., much more he who is able, is bound to do spiritual alms. And 
this alms St. Bernard, writing unto Eugenius in his third book, perceived to be st. Ser- 
ver}' necessary for the bishop of Rome, where he saith thus : " I fear no "^r'l 
greater poison, nor greater sword nor mischief, will happen unto thee, than this 
insatiable desire of dominion." With what face, then, can the faithful minister 
withdraw or keep back the spiritual alms for the pope and any other, even 
without the special license of the pope or of the bishop ; which license, through 
the far distance from the pope, the ministers cannot so easily obtain or come 
by ? For any prolubition of any prelate, being broken through necessity, is 






to tlie 

Wliat it 
is falsely 
to usurp 
the office 
of a 

Who is a 

of the 


kinds of 
or calling 
to St. Au- 

The com- 
mon law. 

not to be blamed. 11 quest. 3 par. " Intercessor," and also in tlie chapter 

Item, All authority of preaching given unto deacons and priests in their 
consecration, were but vain, except that in case of necessity, without any special 
license, they might preach the gospel. For it is evident, inasmuch as it is not 
lawful for them to use that authority, without the special license of their adver- 
sary : ergo, it is given them in vain. The consequence is evident by the 
common saying of the philosopher, that " power is but vain, whereof proceedeth 
no use of action." But forasmuch as this article doth, as it were, depend upon 
the pi-eceding article, therefore this shall suffice to be spoken thereof at this 

But, against the affirmations of both these articles, this is objected out of the 
16 quest. 1 par. : " All faithful people, and especially all priests, deacons, and 
all others of the clergy, ought to take heed that they do nothing without the 
license of their bishop." It is also objected out of the fifth book of Decretals, 
" Tituli de haereticis ;" cap. " Cum ex injuncto;" where it is said, no man ought 
to usurj) to himself indifferently the office of preaching, forasmuch as the apostle 
saith, " How shall they preach, except they be sent ?" Whereas, also, Innocent 
doth declare, that it is not sufficient for a man to say, that he is sent of God to 
preach except he do show the same. As touching the point, the Gloss 
doth sufficiently answer upon this word, " without license;" " that is to be 
expounded," saith he, " without general license; which is obtained and given, 
when a bishop doth appoint any priest to govern the people;" " for thereby," 
saith he, " it seemeth a bishop is thought to give him general power to minister 
imto the people, and to rule the chiu'ch." Thus much in the Gloss. And to 
the same end and purpose it is said in the 7 quest. 1 chapter, " Episcopi :" 
" Bishops or priests, if they come into the clnu'ch of another bishop to visit the 
same, as it is said Gloss 1. 'in honore suo,' let them be received in their degree, 
and desired as well to preach the word, as to do any other consecration or 

Secondly, it is to be noted, which is very well expressed in the same place ; 
" No man ought to usurp unto himself the office of preaching, as a thing indif- 
ferent," for to usurp, is unlawfully to use any thing: ergo, the same deacon or 
priest doth then usurp the office of preaching indifferently, who, living viciously, 
contrary unto the law of Christ, or being ignorant of the law of God, doth 
preach either for gain or covetousness of living, either for his belly or dainty 
life, or for any vain glory ; but he who doth live according unto the laws of 
Christ, and being moved with the affection of sincere charity, intending pui'ely 
the honour of God and the salvation of himself and his neighbours, doth preach 
no lies or vain jests or other things not authorized, but only the law of Christ 
and the minds of the holy doctors. And he that doth so preach, necessity 
occasioning or moving him thereunto, in case there be no pope or bishop, or in 
case possible, to withstand the preaching of heritics or false preachers, in so 
doing doth not usurp the office of preaching ; and in such case there is no doubt 
but he is sent of God. And this doth also answer unto that which is conse- 
quently said, that if any man will peradventure craftily answer, that such 
preachers are invisibly sent of God, although not visibly of men, when the 
invisible sending of God is much better than the visible sending of men ; a man 
may reasonably answer tliereunto, that forasmuch as that internal sending is 
secret, it is not sufficient for a man only to say that he is sent of God, forasmuch 
as every heretic may so say ; but he ought to prove the same his invisible calling 
by the working of some miracle, or by some special testimony of the Scripture. 

Here it is to be noted, that according to St. Augustine, in his 65th book of 
Questions to Orosius, there are four kinds of sending. The first is from God 
only, whereof we read in Moses and others, who were inspired by God. And 
this kind of sending looseth from the danger of the statute ; so that he whom 
the Spirit of God hath inspired, this prelate (giving thanks) may proceed 
unto a better life. Whereupon pope Urban saith, 19th quest. 2 par., " There 
be," said he, " two laws, the one public, the other private. The jiublic la\v 
is that which is confirmed in writing by the holy fathers, such as is the 
canon law, which is only given for transgressions. As for example, it is 
decreed in the canons, that none of the clergy shall go from one bishopric to 
another, without the letters commendatory of his bishop ; which was ordained 


only for offenders, that no infamed persons should be received by any bishop ; indiard 
for tliey were wont, wlien tluy could not celebrate or do their office under their ^' 
own bishopric, to go to aiiotlier ; wliicli now is forbidden by tiie laws and pre- • , j 
cepts. The ])rivate law is that, which, by the instruction of the Holy Giiost, is ioqj' 

written in the heart, as tlie apostle speaketh of many who have the law of God I_ 

' written in their hearts.' " And in another place : " Fonisniuch as the Gentiles 'i'''e pri- 
have not the law of (Jod, but naturally do those things which are of the law, ^^'"^ '^"'^ 
they are laws unto themselves." And afterwards he saith, " the private law is Private 
much more worthy than the public law. For the Spirit of God is a law; and !^*> 'hat 
' they wlio are nun-ed by the Spirit of God, are led by the law of God. And ^^^^\ !f„j^" 
who is he, that can worthily resist against the Holy Ghost?' Whosoever there- inward 
fore is led by the Spirit of God, albeit his bishop do say him nay, let him go ","[^'?,^ 
fi'eely by our authority ; for 'the law is not appointed for the just man,' for spirit in 
' where tlie Spirit of God is, there is liberty : and if ye be led by the Spirit of "le heart. 
God, ye are not under the law.' " 

Behold, here it is atHrmed, that the sending by God through inspiration, is not 
bound under the bondage of the law ; for that law is more worthy than the pub- 
lic law. Secondly, that the law is made for transgressors aiul offenders, and not 
for tlie just. Thirdly, that whosoever is led by tlie Spirit of God, although his 
bishop stand against him, he may proceed unto a better life. Whereby it is 
evident, that a deacon or priest disposed to preach, and being led by the Spirit 
of God, may freely preach the gospel of Christ, without the spiritual license of 
his bishop. It is evident, forasnuich as it is good, that a deacon or priest do 
live well, and preach fruitfully. Ergo, he may proceed from idleness unto the 
labour and office of preaching, and so to a better life. 

But whereas it is said before, that forasmuch as the inward sending or calling Ever> 
is secret, therefore it is not sufficient for a man barely to affirm only that he is "^^" ^^^ 
sent of God, when every heretic may so say ; but it is necessary, that he do con- to be seiit 
firm and prove his invisible sending by the working of some miracle, or by some '/ Ctod 
special testimony of the Scripture : here is to be noted, that there are two kinds Jj",^iy 
of preachers ; those of the Saviour Christ, and those of the seducer Antichrist. Two 
The first sort, following their Master, Christ, teach the people in truth. The '^""'s of 
<Jther sort, being of a corrupt mind, and reprobate touching faith, resist against ers. 
the verity ; and, through covetousness by their feigned words, do make mer- 
chandize of the people. And these men do give, and shall give miracles, as our 
Savioiu- saith [Matt, xxiv.], " There shall arise false Christs and false prophets 
which shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that even the elect them- 
selves, if it were by any means possible, should be brought into error." And 
the apostle [2 Thes. ii.], as touching their head. Antichrist, writeth thus : — 
" Whose coming shall be according to the operation of Satan, with all power 
and signs, false miracles, seducing unto iniquity those which do perish, because, 
they have not received the charity and love of truth, that they might be saved :' 
therefore will the Lord send upon them the operation of error, that they shall give 
credit unto lies ; that all sucli as have not believed the truth, but consent imto 
wickedness, should be judged." Behold how expressly our Saviour, by himself. Of the 
and by his apostle, doth teach us, how the disciples of Antichrist, with their jvoJJ^J'rs'* 
head, should shine through their great signs and wonders. But tlie ti-ue disci- of Anti 
pies of Clirist shall not so do in the time of Antichrist. For, as St. Isidore f'lr'st. 
saith, in his first book, 22 par., " De summo bono :" "Before Antichrist shall 
appear, all virtues and signs shall cease from the church, tiiat he may the more 
boldly persecute the same, as an abject. For this profit, shall all miracles and 
signs cease under Antichrist, that thereby the patience of the holy men might 
be known, and the lightness of the reprobate?, who are offended, may be opened, 
and also that the cruelty of the persecutors should be made more fierce." 

Thus writeth St. Isidore ; and St. Gregory, in his twenty-fourth book of why true 
Morals, saith, " Fo"- why ? By a terrible examination of (iod's secret dispensa- miracles 
tion shall all signs of virtue or power be taken away from the holy church, be- 

cease un- 

fore that the Leviathan appear in that most wicked and damniible man, whose ler Anti- 
shape he doth take upon lum. For jirophccy is hidden, the gift of healing is '■■''^'^'• 
taken away, the virtue of long abstinence is diminished, the words of doctrine 
are put to silence, and the wonderful works of miracles are extinguished ; which 
things notliing can utterly take away, but only the dispensation of God. But 
this dispensation is not so openly and manifoldly declared, as it hath been in 


Richard times past ; which also is done by a marvellous dispensation, that through one 

II- only thing both God's love and justice should be fulfilled. For the power of 

A. D. miracles being for a while taken away, the holy church appeareth the more ab- 
1384 j^ct ^^^ forsaken, and the reward of good men doth cease, who reverenced the 

— same for the hope of heavenly riches, and not for any present signs ; and that 

the minds of evil men against the same might the sooner be known, who ne- 
glect to follow the invisible things which the church doth promise, while they 
be led with visible signs." 

Forasmuch then as the humility of the faithful is, as it were, destitute of the 
multitude and appearing of signs by the terrible working of God's secret dis- 
pensation, whereby mercy is given unto the good and just, wrath heaped upon 
the evil ; forasmuch then, as it is ti-uly said, that before this Leviathan shall 
plainly and manifestly come, poverty shall go before his face (for, before that 
time, the riches of miracles shall be taken away from the faithful), then shall 
that ancient enemy show himself against them by open wonders ; that, as he is 
extolled through signs and wonders, so shall he the more manfully be van- 
quished of the faithful, without any signs or miracles. Also in his sixteenth 
book upon these words, which the blessed man Job [chap, xxiv.] said ; " Who 
shall reprehend his way before him, or who shall cast in his teeth what he hath 
done ?" While he did speak of the body of all evil, he suddenly converted his 
speech imto the head of all the wicked ; for he did see that, towards the end of 
The de- the world, Satan should enter into man, whom the Scripture calleth Antichrist ; 
ofTntl" ^"^ %\.\o\\ be extolled with such pride, he shall rule with such power, he shall be 
ciirist out exalted with such signs and wonders, under the pretence of hohness, that his 
ofSt.Gre- doing cannot be controlled of men, forasmuch as his signs and tokens are 
joined with power and terror, and with a certain show of holiness. Wherefore, 
he saith, " Who shall control his ways before him ?" what man is he that dare 
once rebuke or check him? whose look or countenance is he afraid of ? But, 
notwithstanding, not only Enoch and Elias, who are brought as example for his 
probation, but also the elect, do argue and reprove his way, while they do con- 
temn, and by the force and power of their minds, resist his malice. But foras- 
much as this thing is not done by their own power and strength, but by God's 
help and grace, therefore it is very well said : " Who shall argue or reprove his 
ways before him?" who, but only God, by whose help, the elect are aided and 
ade able to resist. 
The proof And, a little after, upon the same book of Job, Gregory saith, " Inasmuch as 
ofholi- j^Qiy Ywew do withstand his iniquity, it is not they themselves who do so rebuke 
his ways, but it is He through whose help they are strengthened." Also in 
his second book he saith, " Now the holy church doth not regard, but despise 
the signs and miracles of the heretics, if they do any ; forasmuch as the church 
doth sufficiently understand, that it is no kind of holiness : for why ? the proof 
of holiness is not to make signs or wonders, but to love every man as himself, 
to think truly of the veiy tiaie God, and to think better of thy neighbour than 
of thyself: for true virtue and hohness consisteth in love, and not in showing 
of miracles. This the Verity declareth, saying ; ' Hereby shall all men know 
that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another :' but he saith not, that ' hereby 
men shall know that ye are my disciples, because ye work miracles;' but con- 
trariwise, ' if ye love one another :' declaring plainly thereby, that it is not 
miracles, but the mere charity and love of God which maketh us the ser- 
vants of God. Wherefore the chief testimony of being God's disciple is to 
have the gift of brotherly love." This throughout doth St. Gregory write, and 
oftentimes, in other places, he speaketh very much of miracles, how they shall 
cease amongst the just, and aboi;nd amongst the wicked. 
Signs Also Chrysostome, in his fifty-fifth homily, saith thus : " It is a common and 

common ^^ indifferent work between the ministers of God and the ministers of the devil, 
different ^o ^^^^t out devils ; but to confess the truth, and to work righteousness, is the only 
to the work of the saints and holy men: therefore, whomsoever thou dost see casting 
of Chri"^ out devils, if he have not the confession of the ti-uth in his mouth, neither 
and Anti- righteousness in his hands, he is not a man of God: but if thou dost see a man 
Christ. openly confessing and declaring the truth, and doing justice, although he do 
The prin- cast out no devils, yet is he the man of God." And it followeth, "Let us 
cipal know, that like as at the coming of Christ, before him the prophets, and with 
niiracles. j^j^^ ^j^^ apostles, wrought miracles, through the Holy Ghost; for such as the 


thing is, which is stirred, such scent and savour will proceed from the same." itich-ird 
He writeth also upon the beginning of Mattliew, "The whole world did marvel ^^• 
and wonder at three things, — that Christ rose again after his death ; tliat Hesh "7 7^ 
ascended into heiiven ; and that he did convert the whole world by his eleven loo/ 

apostles. There are four causes which wrought the same; that is to say, the — '- '— 

contempt of riches or monev ; the despising of pomp and glory; the separation 
of themselves from all worldly occupation and business, and the patient suffer- 
ing of torments." Thus much writeth Chrysostome. 

Also St. Isidore, in his first book and twenty-fifth chapter, " De summo Cause 
bono," writeth thus: " Like as in the apostles, tlie marvellous effect and power ".''^ '''® 
of works was much more commendable than the virtue of their signs ; even so now 
now in the church, it is nuich better to live well, than to work any signs or "orketli 
miracles. .\nd the cause why the church of God doth not at this present work "["V""^^ 
miracles, as it did in the time of the apostles, is this; that it was neccssarj' at 
that time that the world should believe miracles, and now, at this present, every 
faitliful believer ought to shine with good works, for to this end were signs and 
miracles then outwardly wrought, that their faith thereby might be inwardly 
strengthened and established: for whatsoever faithful man he be that seekcth 
to work miracles, he seeketh vain-glory to be praised of men; for it is written, 
' iMirades are signs and tokens unto the infidels and unbelievers, and not unto 
the faithful.' " Thus much writeth Isidore. 

Item, St. Augustine, in his book of confessions, saith thus: " There is no A preat 
greater miracle amongst men, than to love our enemies." By these words of "^'r*^'" 
these holy men a man may easily gather, that, both in our days, and in the man's 
time to come, the disciples of Antichrist both do and shall flourish and show enemy, 
themselves more by strange signs and miracles, than did the disciples of Christ, 
according to the saying of our Saviour Jesus Christ; "There shall rise up 
amongst you false prophets, which shall work strange miracles." Secondlj', it 
is proved that they are greater and stranger miracles, to confess the truth, and 
to do justice, than to work any other kind of miracle. Thirdly, it is gathered 
thereby, that whatsoever minister or deacon loveth his enemies, contemneth 
riches, despiseth the glory of the world, and flieth from all worldly troubles, 
and meekly sustaineth and suff'ereth most terrible and ciiicl threatenings and 
strokes for the gospel's sake, he worketh miracles, having thereby a testimony 
and witness, that he is the true disciple of Jesus Christ. And it is evi- The true 
dent by the saying of our Saviour Jesus Christ, [Matt, v.] " Let your miracles 
good works so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and Christ's 
glorify your Father which is in heaven." And likewise, John x. 38, " Believe rninis- 
the works."' Whereupon St. Gregory, in his first book of Dialogues, writeth ^^'^' 
thus : " The estimation of a true life consisteth in the virtue of its works, and 
not in the showing of signs." 'Whereby it is fourthly concluded by what is 
aforesaid, that it is a more effectual testimony and witness for a priest or deacon 
that he is sent of God to confess the truth, and follow Christ in the aforesaid 
virtues, than to cast out devils, or to do any other miracles, as it is evident by 
the saying of Chrysostome before alleged: " Whomsoever thou dost see to cast 
out devils, if the confession or acknowledging of the truth be not in his mouth, 
neither righteousness nor justice in his hands, he is not a man of God." This 
is also confirmed by the words of Christ [Matt, vii.], " Many shall say unto 
me in that day. Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name ; have not 
we cast out devils in thy name ; and have not we also wrought many great 
wonders and miracles in thy name ? Then I will answer and say unto them ; 
Forasmuch as I have not known you at any time, depart from me, ye workers of 
iniquity." And as touching the second part, Chrysostome saith ; " If you see 
a man confessing and preaching the truth, and working righteousness, although 
he do not cast out devils, he is a man of God." 

Hereby it appeareth, that every deacon, priest, or minister, confessing the The tesii- 
tnith and working justice, hath a perfeA and sure testimony that he is sent of "'°">' °^ 
God ; and that it is not necessary for him to approve tliis his sending by the priest, 
working of any miracle, instead of working righteousness ; neither by any 
testimonial, which should plainly declare him by name, that he was sent of the 
Lord to preach. 

1) "Operibus credile." I.atir. edition, p. 37. The English editions erroneously translate thij, 
" Trust unto your good works."— Ed. 


nichnid The first part appearcth manifest by that which is already spoken, that ail 
■'^- miracles in the time of Antichrist shall cease in the elect. 

. .. The second part is also evident: forasmuch as none of the present pi-eachers 

,00 ,' can show by the Scripture of the law of God, that he is specially named there- 

— '. _ unto. 

And likewise, I do also affirm and say, as touching all preachers who shall 
come liereaftei', that they are not named by name ; but let no man here object 
Enoch and Elias, who were ancient preachers, and prophesied by the Holy Spirit 
of God. And it is apparent, that like as it is not a cause sufficient to prove, 
that this priest or deacon is sent of God to preach, because he worketh miracles ; 
so is it not a cause sufticient to prove that he is not sent of God to preach, because 
he dotii no miracles ; but to confess the truth, to work righteousness, to contemn the 
world with the glory thereof, patiently to suffer rebukes, is a sufficient testimony 
for any priest or deacon, having knowledge of the law of God, freely to preach 
the gospel of Jesus Christ, forasmuch as, in such case, he is sent of God. And 
this is the sending which the apostle speaketh of in Komans xii. "How 
shoidd they preach, except they be sent?" Whereupon the Gloss of St. Augus- 
tine writeth thus ; " These things serve to set forth God's gi'ace, declaring that 
all our goodness is prevented * by grace." " For," he saith, "belief cometh 
of hearing, hearing cometh of preaching, and preaching by the sending of God ; 
so that it altogether and wholly cometh out of the fountain of grace, and 
preaching truly cometh of sending." This hath the Gloss : " How shall they then 
preach, without thej' be sent of God 1 And this is evident, that the great and 
principal sending is from God alone, as it is proved by Moses.' 

The second sending is both from God and man ; as by the example of Joshua 
and others, who were sent both by God and the rulers to preach. 

The third sending is from man alone ; which is not founded in the law of 
God, but in men's traditions, which they rather esteem. 

The fourth sending, which hath but the name only, is proper to them, who 
of themselves unworthily usurp the office of preaching, as those false prophets 
of whom God speaketh in Jeremy xxiii., " I did not send them, and they ran; 
I spake not unto them, and they prophesied : if they had continued in my 
counsels, and had declared my words vmto my people, I would have converted 
them from their evil ways, and wicked imaginations." And our Saviour 
speaketh of these prophets in Matthew, saying, " There shall arise false pro- 
phets." And Peter, his true vicar, in his second epistle and second chapter, 
prophesying unto the faithful believers in Christ, speaketh thus of them : 
" There were amongst the people false prophets, as there shall be amongst you 
also masters of lies, through whom the truth shall be blasphemed and slan- 
dered;" and that he might the better instruct the people to know them, he 
addeth, " They shall go about with feigned words, for coveteousness' sake, to 
make merchandize of you." 
Differ- Wherefore every faithful man, diligently weighing these things in his mind, may 

encebe- j^qw easily perceive how great a number of false prophets there be, through 

tween the •^■'.. . x^i ,..s 

ministers whom the christian truth is blasphemed, and all covetous dealing is exercised ; 
ofClirist and these are they who freely preach lies. But the humble and true ministers 
c^r' ^""' ^^ Christ, wheresoever they do appear, by and by are persecuted, whereby 
the prophecy of the apostle is verified, which is written in the second epistle to 
Timothy, chap. iii. " All men," saith he, " which desire to live godly, shall 
suffer persecution ; but the evil men and seducers shall prosper in their wicked- 
Ministers ness, running daily more and more into all kinds of errors." The wicked have 
°h ^t d '^^^ ^^ much 2)revailed, that they do preach lies, making heretics of the faith- 
cloak the ful Christians ; neither is there any man that dare prohibit them their lying, 
vices of so that they do not preach against the vices of the prelates. How then can 
Ltes^, ^''^" y^*^^ ^^3-'' t^^^*- Antichrist is not exalted above all that is called God, suppressing 
the members of Christ in his office, fortifying and fostering his members in 
lying ? Therefore the true and faithful disciples of Christ ought to stand ready 
girt about their loins, and shoes upon their feet, in defence of the gospel, 
taking the sword in hand, which is the word of God [Ephes. vi.], and to fight 
against the crafts of Antichrist, who goeth about utterly to extinguish the true 
preaching of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ._ 

()> Is preceded by, oris the result of. — Ed. 


The Second Disputation in the University of Prague, upon the //• 
Seventeenth Article of John Wicklitf, most fruitful to l)c read ; "aTdT 
proving, by four and twenty reasons out of the Scriptures. 1384. 
that Princes and Lords Temporal have lawful Authority and 
Jurisdiction over the Spiritualty and Cluirchmen, both in taking 
from them, and in correcting their Abuses according to their doings 
and deserts. By John Huss. 

To tlie honour of Almighty God, and our Lord Jesus Clirist, both for Condem- 
thc trying out of trutli, and tlic profit of the holy niotiier tlie cliurch, ac- nation of 
cording to the congregation of our university of Prague, wliich, avoiding always Jjve 'a'nr- 
to do that which shall be prejudicial to the truth, hatli deferred to give their cles, and 
consent unto the condemnation of the forty-five articles, wishing, even unto J^^^.^: 
this present time, sufficient probation to be given of the condenuiation of the m,7to be 
said articles, and particularly of every one of them : wliereupon the said allowed, 
university doth always require due proof of the same, forasmuch as pope 
Damasus, in his canon, Distinction, chapter Ixviii. " Chorepiscopi," saith thus; 
" That it is necessary that whatsoever thing standeth not by due reason should 
be rooted out ;" whereby it appeareth, that the condemnation of the five and 
forty articles,. if it stand not with proof and sufficient demonstration for every 
article, is necessarily to be rooted out. 

But, if any man will object and say, that to require a reason for every thing, 
is to derogate from God's divine power : unto this objection Master William 
doth answer himself in his philosopli}-, the first book, almost at the end, where 
he, treating of the place in Genesis ii. " Ciod made man of the slime of the 
earth," Src, hath these words; " For in what point," saitli he, " are we con- AIlow- 
trary to the holy Scriptures, if we seek by reason to declare wherefore any ^bleto 
thing is done, which is said in the Scriptures to be done ? For if a wise man declare 
should say that a thing is done, and do not declare how it is done, and another byreason, 
man speaketh the very self-same thing, and declareth how it is done, what con- J^j^inVg 
trariety is there ? But, forasmuch as they themselves know not the force of nature, recorded 
to the intent that they might have all men partakers with them of their igno- '" Scrip- 
rance, they would have no man to inquire it out ; Init they would have us done, 
believe as ignorant people, and not to seek any reason of our belief, that the 
prophecy miglit be fulfilled, " Such as the people is, such shall be the priest." 
But we truly do say, that in all things a reason is to be sought, if it may by 
any means be found. But if any man do stay at any thing which the Scriptures 
do affirm, let him commit the same unto faith, and unto the Holy Ghost. For 
Moses saith, " If the lamb cannot be eaten, let it not be by and by consumed 
in the fi"e ; but let him first call his neighbour which dwelleth in the next 
house unto him ; and if they also be not sufficient to eat the lamb, then let it 
be burned in the fire." So likewise, when w'e go about to seek any thing as 
touching the godhead, and be not able of ourselves to comprehend the same, 
let us call our neighbour who dwelleth in the next house unto us ; that is to 
say, let us seek out such a one as dwelleth in the same catholic faith with us; and 
if then neither we, nor yet he, be able to comprehend the same, let it then be 
burned with the fire of faith. 

But these men, albeit they have many neighbours dwelling near unto them, yet An alle- 
for very pride they will not call any man unto them ; choosing rather to continue ^'"'■y 
still ignorant, than to ask any question. And if they do know any man to inquire Paschar 
for his neighbour in such case, by and by, they cry out upon him as a heretic ; Lamb, 
presuming more upon their own head, th<in having confidence in their wisdom. 
But I exhort you to give no credit unto their outward appearance, for already 
it is verified in them which the satirical poet saith : " No credit is to be given 
unto the outward show; for which of them all is it that doth not abound with 
most shameful and detestable vices ?" And in another place he saith : " They 
are very daintj' of their speech, and have great desire to keep silence." And 
thus much hath .Master William. Let all such hear whom this parable doth 
touch ; for I, with the rest of the masters, bachelors, and students of our 
university, considering how hard a matter the condemnation of the forty -five 
articles of WicklifF, without reason, is, and how grievous a thing it were if we 


liichard should thereunto consent, do call together my neighhoiu-s, the doctors of this 
^^- university, and all others who woidd object any tiling against the same, that 
„ we mio-ht presently find out the reason of the condemnation of this article, con- 
y.^^' ceming the taking away the temporalties fi-om the clergy. 

• Notwithstanding, I do profess that it is not my intent, like as it is not 
A protes- the meaning of the university, to persuade, that princes or secular lords 
tation, should take away the goods from the clergy when they would, or how 
h*'"'^''th they woidd, and convert them to what use they hst. But our whole in- 
light unto tent is diligently to search out whether this article, as touching the taking 
the read- away of temporalties from the clergy, may have in it any true sense, whereby 
the pro^ it may be defended without reproof. Wherefore this article, being the seven- 
position teenth in the number of the forty-five, is propounded under this form : " The 
■''T^vf''^ lords temporal may, at their own will and pleasure, take away the temporal 
under- goods from the clergy, if they do ofiend, and therein continue." It is thus 
stood, and proved : the kings of tlie Old Testament took away the temporal goods at 
fhat'^the God's commandment from the clergy ; that is to say, from the priests offending. 
goods of 'J'herefore the kings also of the New Testament, at God's commandment, may 
the cler- j^ ^j^^ jjjj^^ when the priests of the new law do offend. The consequence de- 
not^utter- pendeth upon a similitude ; and the antecedent is evident. First, it is proved 
ly to be ]jy Solomon, 1 Kings ii. 27, which Solomon deposed Abiathar the high priest, 
a\v'a'y!hut because he had taken part with Adonijah, the brotlier of Solomon, to make him 
in case king, without the advice either of David, or of Solomon himself, who ought 
tiie clergy ^^ reign, and set up Zadoc the priest in the place of Abiathar, because he had 
the^ame. uot consented with Abiathar unto Adonijah, as it is written, 1 Kings i. 5 — 8 ; 
First rea- where it is said; "Adonijah, the son of Haggith, exalted himself, saying, I 
son. So- ^^]j reign ; and made luito himself chariots and horsemen, and forty men which 
should run before him ; neither did his father rebuke him at any time, saying. 
Wherefore hast thou done this ? For he was very comely, being second son, 
next to Absalom, and his talk was with Joab the son of Zer>uah and Abiathar 
the priest, which took part with Adonijah. But Zadoc the priest, and Benaiah 
the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Serethei, and 
Felethi, and all the power of David's host, were not on Adonijah's part." 

This was the cause of the deposing of Abiathar, because he took part with 
Adonijah, that he should be king against Solomon, the eldest son of king David : 
wherefore it is written, 1 Kings ii. 26 ; " The king said unto Abiathar the 
priest. Go your ways unto Anathoth thine own field, for thou art a man of 
death ; but this day I will not slay thee, because thou hast cai-ried the ark of 
the Lord before my father David, and didst labour in all things wherein iny 
father laboured." Then did Solomon cast out Abiathar, that he should be no 
more the priest of the Lord ; that the word of the Lord might be fulfilled, 
which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. 

I Behold, the most prudent king Solomon, according to the wisdom which was 

given him of God, did exercise his power upon the said priest, putting him out 

of his pi-iesthood, and setting in his place Zadoc the priest. This was a greater 

matter than to take away the temporalties. If, then, in the law of Christ, who 

now i-eigneth over us, a bishop should likewise rebel against the true heir of 

the kingdom, willing to set up another for king, why shoidd not the king or 

his heir have power, in like case, to take away the temporalties from liim so 

offending ? 

Second It is also evident by the king Nebuchadnezzar, who had power given him of 

reason. Qq^ jq jg^d away the children of Israel, with their priests and Levites, into 

cli'a'dnez- the captivity of Babylon, as it is written in 2 Kings xxv. 

zar. Item, We read in 2 Kings xii., how that Jehoash, the most godly king of 

Third Judah, according to the wisdom which God had granted him, " took away all 
Jrtfoas'h. the consecrated vessels which Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fore- 
fathers, kings of Judah, had consecrated, and those which he himself had 
offered, and all the treasure that could be found in the temple of the Lord and 
in the king's palace, and sent it unto Hazael, king of Syria, and he departed 
from Jerusalem." Mark how this most holy king exercised his power, not 
only in taking away the temporalties of the priests, but also those things which 
Fourth were consecrated in the temple of the Lord, to procure unto the common- 
iieze" wealth the benefit of peace, 
kiah! Item, In 2 Kings xviii., it is written, how that the holy king Hezekiah took 


al! tlie treasure that was found in the liouso of the Lord, iiiid in tlie king's Richard 
treasury, and brake down the ])inars of the temple of the Lord, and all the ^^• 
plates of gold which he hiniselT had fastened thereuj)on, and gave them unto . p. 
the king of the Assyrians; yet was he not rebuked of the Lord for it, as he yluA 

was for his other sins, as it aj)j)eareth in 2 Chron. xxxii. Forasnnich, then, as ' 

in time of necessity all things ought to be in common unto Christians, it 
followeth that the secular lords, in case of necessity, and in many other com- 
mon cases, may lawfully take away the moveable gooda from the clergy, when 
they do ott'end. 

We also read in Matthew xii., that the disciples of Jesus, to slake their FiftU 
hunger, upon the Sabbath-day pulled the ears of corn, and did eat them, and jia^u'ew 
the Pharist'es rebuked tliem for it; unto whom C'iirist answered, " Have ye 
not read what David did when he was liungry, and tliose that were with him ; David, 
how he entered into the house of the Lord, and did eat the shewbread, which 
it was not lawful for him, neither for them that were with him to eat, but only 
for the priests ?" This story is written in 1 Sam. xxi., and the conunandment Case of 
in Deuteronomy xii.,' whereby it appeareth, that it is lawful, in time of neces- "^cessity. 
sity, to use any thing, be it ever so much consecrated. Otherwise, children 
by giving their moveables to the consecration of any temple, should not be 
bound to help their parents; which is contrary and against the gospel of St. 
Matthew [chap, xvi.], where our Saviour sharply rebuked the Pharisees, that, 
for their own traditions, they did transgress the conunandment of (iod. 

Item, Titus and Vespasian, secular princes, had power given them by God, sixth 
twenty-four years after the Lord's ascension, to take away the temporalties ffason- 
from the priests who had offended against the Lord's Holy One, and thereby, vespa. 
also, bereft them of their lives : and it seemeth luito many, they <lid, and sian. 
might, worthily do the same according to God's good will tuid ])leasure. 
Then, forasnmch as our priests, in these days, may tran.sgress and offend as 
much, and rather more, against the Lord's anointed, it followeth, that, by the 
pleasure of God, the secular lords may likewise punish them for their offence. 

Our Saviour, being King of kings, and high Bishop, with his discijiles, did Seventh 
give tribute unto Ca;sar, as it appeareth in Matthew xvii., and commanded the ^^,^^°^- 
Scribes and Pharisees to give the like unto CiBsar [Matt, xxii.] ; whereby he ample of 
gave example unto all priests that should come after him to render tribute unto Christ 
their kings. Hereupon blessed St. Ambrose, in his fourth book, upon these {r^bute 
words in Luke v. 4., " Cast out your nets," writeth tints; " There is another st. Ara- 
kind of fishing amongst the apostles, after which manner the Lord commanded brose's 
Peter only to fish, saying, ' Cast out thy hook, and that fish which cometli first ""'"'• 
up, take him.'" And then unto the purpose he saith ; " It is truly a great 
and spiritual document, whereby all christian men are taught that they ought 
to be subject unto the higher powers, and that no man ought to think that the 
laws of a king here on earth are to be broken. For if the Son of God did paj' 
tribute, art thou so great a man, that thou thinkest thou oughtest not to pay 
tribute .' He payed tribute who had no possessions ; and thou who daily 
seekest after the lucre of the world, why dost thou not acknowledge the obedi- 
ence and duty of the world I Why dost thou, through the arrogancy of thy 
mind, exalt thyself above the world, whereas, through thine own miserable 
covetousness, thou art subject unto the world ?" Tlius writeth St. Ambrose, 
and it is put in the 1 1 quest. 1 par., " Magnum quidem." He also writeth Christ 
upon these words in Luke xx. 24., " Show me a penny; whose image hath <^°'"- , 
It? "If Chnst had not the image oi C.'csar, why did he pay any tribute? ,rii,ute to 
He gave it not of his own, but rendered unto the world that which was the be paid 
world's ; and if thou wilt not be in danger of Caesar, possess not those things "ni'^^r. 
which are the worlds, for if thou hast riches thou art in danger of Ciesar. " 
Wherefore, if thou wilt owe nothing unto any earthly king, forsake all those 
things, and follow Christ. If, then, all ecclesiastical ministers having riches 
ought to be under the subjection of kings, and give unto them tribute ; it fol- 
loweth that kings may lawfully, by the authority which is given them, take 
awa}' their temporalties from them. 

Hereupon St. Paul, acknowledging himself to be under jurisdiction of the 
emperor, appealed unto Ca;sar, as it appeareth, Acts xxv. 10. : " I stand," 

(1) Or rather, in xxlv. 9.— En. 


Kichnrd siiith he, " at Cassai-'s judgment seat ; there I ought to be judged." Where- 

'^l- upon, in the eighth distinction, cliapter " Quo jure," St. Amlirose allegeth, that 

~T~~pr~ all things are lawful unto the emperor, and all things under his power. For the 

Tj'q4" confirmation whereof it is said, [Daniel ii. 137, 38,] " The God of heaven hath 

given unto thee a kingdom, strength, empire and glory, and all places wherein 

Eighth the children of men do dwell ; and hath given into thy power the beasts of the 

Paui"ap- ^^'*^' ^"'^ fowls of the air, and set all things imder thy subjection." 

peaieth Also, in the 11 quest, par. 1, St. Ambrose saith, " If the emperor require 

to the tribute, we do not deny that the lands of the church shall pay tribute ; 

St. a""-"^ if the emperor have need of our lands, he hath power to challenge them, let 

brose. him take them, if he will : I do not give them unto the emperor, neither do I 

(Daniel deny them." This he writeth, expressly declaring that the sccidar lord hath 

"'.' power at liis pleasure to take away the lands of the church ; and so, conse- 

reason. quently, the secular lords have power at their pleasures, to take away the 

St. Am- temporal goods from the ecclesiastical ministers when they do offend. 

brose. Also, St. Augustine writeth, " If thou sayest, ' What have we to do with the 

reason emperor?' But now, as I said, we speak of man's law. The apostles would 

St. Au- be obedient unto kings, and honour them, saying, ' Reverence your kings ; 

gustine. ^^id Jq not say. What have I to do with the king?' What hast thou then to 

do with possessions ? By the king's law thy possessions are possessed. Thou 

hast said, ' What have I to do with the king ? ' bvtt do not say, what have thy 

possessions to do with the king ? For then hast thou renounced the laws of 

men, whereby thou didst possess thy lands." Thus "smteth St. Augustine in 

his eighth distinction, by whose words it is manifest, that the king hath power 

over the church goods, and consequently may take them away from the clergy 

transgi-essing or ottending. 

Eleventh Item, in his thirty-third epistle to Boniface, he saith, " What sober man 

rea.son. will say uuto our kings, ' Care not 3'ou in your kingdom, by whom the church 

trails* of the Lord is maintained, or by whom it is oppressed ; it pertaineth not unto 

keepers you, wlio will be either a religious man, or who will be a church-robber 1 ' 

of both Unto whom it may be thus answered, ' Doth it not pertain unto us in our 

The dutj kingdom, who will either live a chaste life, or who will be an unchaste whore- 

of kings monger?'" Behold, this holy man showeth here how it is the duty of kings to 

the^"' '*'* punish such as are robbers of churches, and consequently the proud clergy 

clergy. wlieu they do offend. 

Twelftii Item, he writeth in the 33 quest. 7 par., " Si de rebus," " The secular 
reason. lords may lawfully take away the temporal goods from heretics ; and foras- 
much as it is a case greatly possible that many of the clergy ai'e users of 
simony, and thereby heretics, therefore the secular lords may very lawfully 
take away their temporalties from them." " For what an unworthy thing is it," 
continues St. Augustine, " if the catholics do possess, according unto the will 
of the Lord, those things which the heretics held? forasmuch as this is the 
word of the Lord unto all wicked men [Matt, xxi.], ' The kingdom of God 
shall be taken away from you, and given unto a nation, which shall do the 
righteousness thereof.' Is it in vain which is written in the Book of Wisdom 
[chap, xi.], ' The just shall eat the labours of the wicked?' " 
An objec- And whereas it may be objected as touching the desire of other men's goods, 
tion of St. Augustine answereth, " That by that evidence the seven nations, which did 
of other"^*^ abuse the Land of Promise, and were driven out from thence by the power of 
men's God, may object the same imto the people of God, which inhabit the same ;" 
goods. jjj^j j.]^g Jews themselves, from whom, according unto the word of the Lord, 
" The kingdom is taken away, and given unto a people, which shall do the 
works of righteousness," may object the same unto the church of Christ, as 
touching the desire of other men's goods : but St. Augustine's answer is this ; 
" We do not desire another man's goods, forasmuch as they are ours by the 
commandment of Him by whom all things were made." By like evidence the 
clergy having offended, their temporal goods are made the goods of others, for 
the profit of the church. To this purpose also, according to St. Augustine, 
serveth the 14 quest. 4 par., "Unto an unbeliever it is not a halfpenny matter ; 
but unto the faithful it is a whole world of riches." Shall we not then convince 
all such that they possess another man's goods, who seem to have gathered 
great riches together, and know not how to use them ? for tliat truly is not 
another's, which is possessed by right ; and that is lawfully possessed, which is 


justly possessed ; and that is justly possessed, wliich is well possessed. Ergo, itichara 
all tlijit wMch is ill possessed, is another mans, and he doth ill possess it, who ^^• 
doth ill use it. ~~\~n~ 

If then any of the clcrpy do abuse the temporal goods, the temporal lords loo/ 

may, at their own pleasure, according unto the rule of charitv, take away the 1- 

said temporal goods from the clerg}' so transgressing. For then, according to 
the allegation aforesaid, the clergy do not justly possess those temporal goods, 
but the temj)oral lords proceeding according to the rule of charity, do justly 
possess those temporalties, forasmuch as all tilings are the just man's [1 Cor. iii. 
21 — 23]. " All things," saith the apostle, " are yours; whether it be Paul, or 
Apollo, or Cephas; either the world, or life or death, or things present, or 
things to come : for all things be yours, you be Christ's, and Christ is God's." 
Also in the 23 quest. 7 par., " Qiiicunque," it is written; " Jure divino 
omnia sunt justonim." "The 'words of St. Augustine in that place, ''Ad 
Vincentium, " be these: " Whosoever," saith he, " upon the occasion of this 
law or ordinance of the emperor, doth molest or persecute you, not for love of 
any charitable correction, but only for hatred and malice to do you displeasure, 
I hold not with him in so doing." 

And although there is nothing here in this earth, that any man may possess By God's 
assuredly, but either he must hold it by God's law, by which " cuncta justorum cJ'nj.jj, 
esse dicuntur;" that is, " all things be said to pertain to the possession of the justorum 
just:" or else by man's law, which standctii in the king's power to set and to "se di- 
ordain ; here, by the words of St. Augustine alleged, ye see all things belong to '^^"^ 
the possession of the just, by God's law.* 

Item, Forasmuch as the clergy by means of their possessions are in danger Thir- 
of the emperor and king, it foUoweth, that if they do offend, the emperor or reason, 
king may lawfully take away their possessions from them. The consequent The 
dependeth on this point, forasmuch as, otherwise, they were not in subjection "^'"^^f 
under the emperor or king: and the antecedent is manifest by the 11 quest, unto tlie 
1 par., " His ita respondetur," where it is specified in Latin thus: " Clerici emperor 
ex officio cpiscopo sunt suppositi, ex possessionibus^ imperatori sunt obnoxii : ab ^". meMM 
cpiscopo unctioneni, decimas, et primitias accipiunt ; ab imperatore vero pos- of their 
sessiones nanciscuntur : ' that is to say, "The clergy, by means of their office, Pp^^^s- 
are under the bishop; but by reason of their possessions they be subject unto 
the emperor : of the bishop they receive unction, tithes, and first-fruits ; of 
the emperor they receive possessions." Thus then it is decreed by the impe- 
rial law, that livelihoods should be possessed ; whereby it appeareth, that the 
clergy, by the possession of their livelihoods, are in danger of the emperor for 
him to take away from them, or to correct them according to their deservings, 
and to have the controlment of them, as it shall seem good unto him. 

Item, The temporal lords may take away the temporalties from such as use Four- 
simony, because they are heretics. Ergo, this article is true. The antecedent |g*jo|j 
is manifest, forasnmch as the secular lords may refuse such as use simony, and Users of 
punish them except they do repent. For, by tiie decree of pope Paschasius, s'^nony 
in the first and last questions it appeareth, that all such as used simony were nished by 
to be refiised of all faithful people, as chief and principal heretics ; and if they the civil 
do not repent after tliey be warned, they are also to be punished by the extern J^gfJ*" 
power. For all other faults and crimes, in comparison of simony, be counted 
but light, and seem small offences. Whereupon the Gloss, expounding the 
same text, saith, that by this word 'extern,' is understood the laity, who have 
power over the clergy, besides the church, as in the seventeenth distinction, 
" Non licuit," and 23 quest, i) par., " Principcs." Whereby it is evident, 
that the temporal lords may take away the temporal goods from the clergy 
when they do offend. 

Item, St. Gregory, in the register upon his seventh book and ninth chapter, Gregory 
writeth thus unto the French queen : " Forasmuch as it is written that ' right- "/{{fj'' 
eousness helpcth the people, and sin maketh them miserable ;' then is that French 
kingdom counted stable, when the offence which is known, is soon amended. <l"cen. 
Therefore, forasmuch as wicked priests are the cause of the ruin of the people ^V'^ked 
(for who shall take upon him, to be intercessor for the sins of the people, if the de- 
the priest who ought to entreat for the same, have committed greater ofiences), structiou 
and under your dominions the priests do live wickedly and unchastely ; ™pie 
(1) Ttis passage is not in the Latin edition.— Ed. (2) Sz-c Latin edition, p. 43.— luD. 



Bichard therefore, that the offence of a few might not turn to the destruction of many 

^^- we ouglit earnestly to seek the punishment of the same. And it followeth, if 

A T\ we do command any person, we do send him forth, with the consent of your 

1 „'o / authority, who, together with other priests, shall diligently seek out, and accord- 

'_ ing unto God's word, correct and amend the same. Neither are these things 

to be dissembled, which we have spoken of, for he that may correct any thing, 
and doth neglect the same, without all doubt he maketh himself partaker of the 
sin or offence. Therefore, foresee unto your own soul ; provide for your nephews, 
and for such as you do desire to reign after you ; provide for your country, and 
with diligence provide for the correction and punishment of that sin, before our 
Creator do stretch out his hand to strike." 
Gregory And in liis next chapter he writeth unto the French king : " Whatsoever you 
to the ^o understand to pertain either unto the honour and glory of our God, to the 
King! reverence of the church, or to the honour of the priests, that do you dihgently 
cause to be decreed, and in all points to be observed. Wherefore, once again 
we do move you, that you command a synod to be congregated, and as we wrote 
lately unto you, do cause all the carnal ^'ices, which reign amongst your priests, 
and all tlie wickedness and simony of your bishops, which is most hard, to 
be condemned and reproved, utterly to be banished out of your kingdom ; and 
that you will not suffer them to possess any more substance under yoiur domi- 
nion, than God's commandment doth allow." 

Behold, how carefully blessed Gregoiy doth exhort the queen and the king 
to punish the vices of the clergy, lest, through their negligence, they should be 
partakers of the same, and how they ought to coiTect their subjects. For as it 
is convenient to be circumspect and careful against the outward enemies, even 
so, likewise, ought they to be against the inward enemies of the soul. And, as 
in just war against the outward enemies it is lawful to take away their goods, so 
long as they continue in their malice, so also it is lawful to take away the goods 
of the clergy, being the inward enemy. The consequent is proved thus : for 
so much as the domestical enemies are most hurtful. 
Sixteenth Item, It is thus argued ; if God be, the temporal lords may meritoriously and 
reason. lawfully take away the temporal goods from the clergy, if they do offend. For 
this point let us suppose that we speak of power as the true authentic Scripture 
doth speak [Mat. iii. 9], " God is able even of these stones to raise up chil- 
dren to Abraham." 

Whereupon it is thus argued : If God be, he is omnipotent ; and if he so be, 
he may give like power unto the secular lords ; and so consequently they may 
meritoriously and lawfidly use the same power. But, lest any man object, that 
a proof made by a strange thing is not sufficient, it is therefore declared that 
the temporal lords have power to take away their alms bestowed upon the 
church, the church abusing the same, as it shall be proved hereafter. And first 
thus : it is lawful for kings, in cases limited by the law, to take away the move- 
ables from the clergy when they do offend: it is thus proved; for the temporal 
lords are most bound unto the works of greatest mercy most easy for them : but, 
in case possible, it shoiUd be greater alms and easier temporal dominion, to take 
away their alms from such as build therewithal unto eternal damnation, through 
the abuse thereof, than to give the said alms for any bodily relief. Ergo, the 
assumption is true. 

Whereupon first this sentence of the law of Chiist in 2 Thess. iii., is noted, 
where the apostle writeth thus : " When we were amongst you, we declared this 
unto you, that he that would not work, should not eat." Wherefore the law of 
nature doth license all such as have the governance of kingdoms, to correct 
the abuse of the temporalties, which would be the chief cause of the destruction 
of their kingdoms ; whether the temporal lords, or any other, had endowed the 
church with those temporalties or not. It is lawful for them in some cases to 
take away the temporalties, as it were by way of physic to withstand sin, not- 
withstanding any excommunication, or other ecclesiastical censure ; forasmuch 
as they are not endowed, but only with condition thereunto annexed, 
When Hereby it appeareth, that the condition annexed to the endowing or enriclu'ng 

and how of any church, is, that God should be honoured : which condition if it once fail, 
of any ^ the contrary taking place, the title of the gift is lost, and consequently the lord 
gift is who gave the alms ought to correct the offence. Excommunication ought not 
.ost. (-Q Ixinder the fulfilling of justice. Secondly, according to the canon law, six- 


teenth question, 7 par., this sentence is noted, where it is thus spoken as RicUrd 
touching the children, nephews, and tlie wiost honest of the kindred of him ^^• 

who halh builded or endowed any ciiurch : Tiiat it is lawful for tiieni to be tlius . p, " 

circumspect, that if they perceive the priest do defraud any part of that which fV' ^" 

is bestowed, tliey should either gently admonish or warn hiin, or else complain ^"^^^■ 

of him to the bishop, that he may be corrected. But if the bishop himself at- 
tempt to do the like, let them complain of him to his metropolitan ; and if the 
metropolitan do the like, let them not defer tiie time to report it in the ears of 
the king; for so saith the canon, " Let them not defer to report it in the ears of 
the kin^." To what end, I pray you, but that he should do correction ! neither 
is it to be doubted, but tliat correction doth more apportiiin unto tlie king in 
tlus point for their goods, whereof he is chief lord, by a subtraction proportional, 
according to the fault or otFence. 

Item, It is thus proved: it is lawful for the secular lords, by their power, to Seven- 
do coiTcction upon the clergy by some kind of fearful discipline appertaining teenth 
to tlieir secular power. Ergo, by like reason it is lawful for them by their powe° Lawf°i 
to do such con-ection by all kind of fearftil discipline pertaining unto their se- fortheci- 
cular power. Forasmuch, tlien, as the taking of their temporalties is a kind ^'' ''"'''" 
of fearful discipline pertaining unto the secular power, it followeth that it is Ihe'^""''*' 
lawful for them thereby to do such correction : and, consequently, it followeth cl'-Tgy. 
that the tmth is thus to be proved. The consequent is evident ; and the an- 
tecedent is proved by Isidore, twentj'-third question, 5 par., "Principes;" 
where it is thus written : "There should be no secular powers within tlie church, 
but only for this purpose, that whatsoever thing the priests or ministers caiuiot 
bring to pass by preaching or teaching, the secular powers may command the 
same by the terror and fear of discipline. For, oftentimes, the heavenly kino-- 
dom is profited and holpen by the earthly kingdom ; that they who are in the 
church, and do any thing contrary unto faith and discipline, by the rigour of the 
princes mav be trodden down, and that the power of the rulers may lay tliat 
discipline upon the necks of the proud and stiffiiecked, which the utiHty and 
profit of the church cannot exercise or use. 

Item, All things that by power ought to work or bring to any perfect end by Ei'iit- 
the reasonable measuring of the mean thereto, may lawfully use by power the eeiuh 
subtraction or taking away of the excess, and the addition of tlie want of tlieir reason, 
means, according as shall be convenient or meet for the measure to be made. 
Forasmuch, then, as the secular lords ou^ht by their power, to provide for the 
necessary sustentation of the christian clergy by the reasonable measuring oi 
their temporalties, which they are bound to bestow upon the christian clergy, it 
followeth, that they may lawfully, by their power, use tlie taking away, or 
adding unto, those temporalties, according as shall be convenient for the per- 
formance of that reasonable matter. 

Item, It is lawful for the clergy, by their power, to take away the sacraments Nj^e. 
of the church from the Laity customably ottending, forasmuch as it doth per- teenth 
tain to the office of the christian ministers, by tlieir power, to minister the same ^^^""• 
unto the lay-people. Wherefore, forasmuch as it doth pertain unto the olfice 
of the laitj', according unto their power, to minister and give temporalties to the 
clergy of Christ, as thi> apostle saith [1 Cor. ix.,], itfollowetli, that it is also 
lawfiil for them by their power to take away the temporalties from the clergy, 
when they do habitually sin and offend. 

Item, By like power may he who giveth a stipend or exhibition, withdraw xwen- 
and take away the same from the unworthy labourers, as he hath power to give tietu rca- 
the same unto the worthy labourers : forasmuch then as temporalties of the *""' 
clergj' are the stipends of the laity, it followeth that the lay-people may, by as 
good authority, take away again the same from the clergj- who will not worthily 
labour, cis they might, by their power, bestow the same upon those who would 
worthily labour, according to the sajnng of the gospel [Matth. xxi.], " The 
kingdom shall be tikcn away from you, and given unto a people which shall 
bring forth the fniits thereof." 

Item, It is also lawful for the secular lords, by their power, to chastise and Twenty- 
punish the lay-people when they do offend, by taking away their temporalties first rea- 
according to the exigent of their offence, forasmuch as the lay-people are sub- *°"' 
jected to their dominion. Wherefore the clergy being also subject to the domi- 
nion of the secular lords, as appears from Rom. xiii., and many other places, it 

G 2 






third rea- 




fifth rea- 

is evident that it is lawful by their power to punish the clergy, by taking awav 
their temporaltie.s, if their oifence do so deserve. 

Item, The most easy reformation of the clergy to the life of Christ and the 
apostles, and the most profitable to the laity, (that the clergy yiould not 
live contrary unto Christ), seemeth to be the withdrawing of their alms, and 
the taking away of those things which had been bestowed upon them. And it 
is thus proved : that medicine is the most apt to be laid to the sore, whereby the 
infirmity may soonest be holpen, and which is most agreeable to the patients ; 
such is the taking away of the temporalties. Ergo, this article is true. The 
minor is thus proved : forasmuch as by the abundance of temporalties the worm 
or serpent of pride hath sprung up, whereujxjn insatiable desire and lust is in- 
Hamed, and f\-om which proceed all kinds of gluttony and lechery. It is 
evident in this point, forasmuch as tlie temporalties being once taken away, 
every one of those sins is either utterly taken away, or at least diminished, by 
the contrary virtue induced and brought in. It seemeth also most pertinent 
unto the laity, forasmuch as they ought not to lay violent hands upon their 
ministers, nor to abject the priestly dignit)', neither to judge any of the clergy in 
their open courts. It seemetli, also, by the law of conscience to pertain unto 
the lay-people, forasmuch as every man who worketh any work of mercy, 
ought diligently to have respect unto the ability of them that he bestoweth his 
alms upon ; lest by nourishing or helping loiterers, he be made partaker of their 
offence. Whereupon, if priests do not minister in their spiritual things, as of 
their tithes, first-fruits and oblations, as Hostiensis teacheth in his third book, 
the people ought to take away the alms of their tithes from them. 

Item, It is confirmed by the last chapter of the seventeenth question, out of 
the decree of Rents appropriate unto the church, " Quicunque," where the case 
is put thus : That a certain man having no children, and not hoping to have any, 
gave all his goods to the church, reserving to himself the use and profits thereof: 
it happened afterwards, that he had children, and the bishop restored again his 
goods unto him not hoping for it. The bishop had it in his power, whether to 
render again, or not, those things which were given him ; but that was by the 
law of man, and not by the law of conscience. If then, by the decree of the 
holy doctor St. Augustine, in his sermon on the life of the clergy, Aurelius, 
bishop of Carthage, had no power by God's law to withhold that which is be- 
stowed upon the church for the necessity of children ; by which law, the wanton, 
proud, and unstable clergy, being more than sufiiciently possessed and enriched, 
do detain and keep back the temporalties to the detriment and hurt of their own 
state, and of the whole militant church, the secular patrons being thereby so 
impoverished, that they are compelled by peimry to rob and steal, to oppress 
their tenants, to spoil and undo others, and, oftentimes, by very necessity are 
driven to beggary. 

Item, Suppose that a priest and minister, how grievously soever he do offend, 
by what kind or sign of offence soever it be, as it was in tlie case of bishop 
Judas Iscariot, of the religious monk Sergius, of pope Leo the heretic, and many 
other priests, of whom the Scripture and Chronicles make mention, and daily ex- 
perience doth teach us the same : it is evident, that, as it is supposed, the priests 
in the kingdom of Bohemia grievously offending, it is the king's part, foras- 
much as he is supreme head next under God, and lord of the kingdom of Bo- 
hemia, to correct and punish those priests. And, forasmuch as the gentlest 
correction and punishment of such as be obdurate in their malice, is, the casting 
away of their temporal goods, it followeth, that it is lawful for the king to take 
away temporalties. Wlierefore it should seem very maivellous and strange, if 
priests, riding about, should spoil virgins, and violently corrupt and defile honest 
matrons : if, in such case, it were not lawful for them to take away their armour, 
weapons, horses, guns, and swords from them. The like reason were it, also, 
if they had unlawfully conspired the death of the king, or that they would be- 
tray the king unto his enemies. 

Item, Whatsoever any of the clergy doth require or desire of the secular power, 
according unto the law and ordinance of Christ, the secular power ought to 
perform and grant the same. But the clergy, being hindered by riches, ought 
to require help of the secular power for the dispensation of the said riches. 
Ergo, the secular power ought, in such case, by the law of Christ, to take upon 
it the office or duty of getting, keeping, and distributing, all such mannei of 


riches. The minor is hereby proved, that no man ouglit to liave riches, but to jtuhmu 
that end, that tliey be helps, preferring and lu'li)ing imto the office which is ^^• 
appointed of CJod. Therefore, in case secular pctisession do hinder the clergy . pj 
from their duty, the secular jjowcr ought to take it away, for so did the apostles, 100/ 

Acts vi., saying, " It is not lawful for us to lea\e the word of (Jod unUiught, and — '■ 1- 

to minister unto tables." 

And thus, liitlicrto, Iiatli Jolin Huss prosecuted WicklifTs articles 
with long argrnnents and reasons ; and it were too long a travail, 
neither agreeable lor this place, to allege all the whole order of" the 
reasons and proofs which he used in that disputation, above the num- 
ber of twenty more, besides the testimonies of all the writers before 
recited, which he allegeth out of the Scriptures, the decretals, St. Am- Ambrose, 
brose in his book of offices, St. Augustine in his fiilh book and fifth i^,"^f7»i- 
qucstion, and also unto Macedo, Isidore, the council of Nice, Gregory Jt^. . 
in his eleventh question, Bernard unto Eugene in his third book, Nice, 
and out of Lincolniensis, the sixty-first epistle, besides many other u'rfia^' 
more : the sum of all which testimonies tends to this end, that he ^"^ 


might utterly take away all earthly rule and dominion from the clergy, 
and bring them under the subjection and censure of kings and em- 
perors, as it were within certain bonds, which is not only agreeable to 
equity and God's word, but also profitable for the clergy then)sclves. 
He teacheth it also to be necessary, that they should rather be sub- 
jected under the secular power, than be above it ; because that else 
it were dangerous, lest they, being entangled with such kind of busi- 
ness, should be an easier prey to Satan, and sooner entrapped in his 
snares ; and, thereby, it should come to pass, that the goveniance and 
principality of all things being at length brought into tlie hands of the 
clergy, the lawful authority of kings and princes should not only be 
given over unto them, but in a manner, as it were, grow out of use ; 
especially forasmuch as already, in certain kingdoms and common- 
wealths, the ecclesiastical power is groAvn to such a height, that not only 
in Bohemia, but also almost throughout all the commonAvealths, they 
do occupy the third, or at least the fourth part of the rents and reve- 
nues. And, last of all, he allegeth thee.xamples of Gregory and of Mauri- 
tius, and afterwards the prophecy of Hildegard, writing in this manner. 

The Second Disputation of John Huss, continued. 

As the ecclesiastical ministers do wiljingly receive reward and praise of kings 
and i-ulers for their good deeds, so also ought they, when they do offend, wil- 
lingly to suffer and receive punishment at their hands for their evil doings. The 
consequent holdeth thus, forasmuch as the punishment meekly and humbly 
received for his offence doth more profit a man, than his praise received for any 
good work : whereupon St. Gregory WTiteth thus imto INIauritius, the emperor, 
when he did persecute him, saying, " I believe that you do please Almighty 
God so nmch the better, in so cruelly afflicting me, who have been so e\-il a 
servant unto him." If then this holy pope did so humbly and meekly, without 
any offence, suffer this aflliction of the emperor, why should not any of the 
clergy, wlien they do offend, meekly siLst.iin punishment at the king's or nder's 
hands, under whom they are bound to be subject, when the true vicar of Christ 
saith [1 Pet. ii.], *' Be ye subject unto every creature for God's cause, whether 
it be unto the king, as most excellent, or unto the ruicrs, as men sent of God 
for the punishing of the wicked, and to the jjraisc of the good : for so is the 
good will of God i" 

Whereupon pope Leo, leaning to tliis rule, submitted himself to Louis, the 


Richard emperor, as it is written in the second question, 7 par., in these words, " If we 
^^- have done any tiling incompetently, or if we have not observed the upright path 
. „ and way of equity amongst subjects, we will amend the same, either by your own 
' ' judgment, or else by the advice or judgment of those whom you shall appoint for 
' that purpose. For if we, who ought to correct and punish other men's faults, do 

Pope Leo commit more grievous ourselves, we are not then the disciples of the truth, but, 
t"ti"h' ^^^'^ sorrow we speak it, we shall be above all others the masters of error." 
self unto And, in the tenth distinction, he writeth thus, touching the obedience unto 
the em- ^q emperor : " As concerning the precepts and commandments of our emperors 
Lou'h ^n^ °^^i' predecessors the bishops (whom the Gloss calleth emperors, who are 
anointed after the manner of bishops) to be observed and kept unbroken, we do 
profess ourselves by all means possible, as much as in us lieth, or that we may 
and can, we will, by the help of God, preserve and keep them both now and 
ever. And if, peradventure, any man do inform, or hereafter shall inform you 
otherwise, know you him assiu-edly to be a liar and slanderer." 
Tyranny Mark how this devout and holy pope, calling the emperors bishops, submitted 
and pride himself, according to the rule of St. Peter the apostle, under the obedience, and 
clergy ^^^ punishment of the emperor. Wherefore, then, should not the clergy of the 
kingdom of Bohemia submit themselves under the obedience of their king, for 
God's cause, to be punished if they do offend ; and not only submit themselves 
unto the king, but also unto the rulers ; and not only luito the rulers, but unto 
every other creature ? For by how much they do so humble and abase them- 
selves in this world for God's sake, so much the more shall they be exalted with 
him : but what is the hindrance thereof, but only pride, whereby Antichrist 
doth exalt himself above the most humble and meek Lord Jesus Christ? 
Prophecy Also, it seemeth to appear by that which is aforesaid on the taking away of 
of Hilde- t}ig temporalties, in the prophecy of Hildegard, the virgin, which she writeth 
^^^ ' in her books under Eugene the pope, in the coimcil of Treves, approved and 
allowed by many bishops of France, Italy, and Almain, who were there present, 
where also St. Bernard himself was present. The virgin prophesying, spake in 
this manner: "The kings and other rulers of the world, being stirred up by the 
just judgment of God, shall set themselves against them, and run upon them, 
saying, ' We will not have these men to reign over us with their rich houses and 
great possessions, and other worldly riches, over which we are ordained to be 
lords and rulers : and how is it meet or comely that those shavelings, with their 
stoles and chisils, should have more soldiers, or more or richer armour or artillery 
than we ? So is it not convenient that one of the clergy should be a man of 
war, or that a soldier should be one of the clergy. Wherefore, let us take 
away fi-om them that, which they do not justly, but wrongfully possess.'" 

And, immediately after, she saith thua : " The Omnipotent Father equally di- 
vided all things ; that is to say, the heavens he gave unto the heavenly creatures. 
Just di- and the earth unto the earthly. And by this means was there a just division 
vision in- made between the children of men, that the spiritualty should have such things 
God be- ^ ^s belong unto them, and the secular people, such things as are meet andne- 
tween the cessary for them, so that neither of these two sorts should oppress each other by 
"^'ri'^h'^' violence ; for God doth not command, that the one son or child should have 
secular both the cloak and the coat, and the other should go naked ; but he willeth that 
people, the one shoidd have the cloak, and the other the coat. Wherefore the secular 
sort ought to have the cloak for the greatness of their worldly cares, and for 
their children, which daily increase and multiply. The coat he giveth unto the 
spiritualty, that they should not lack clothing, and that they should not possess 
more than necessity doth require. Wherefore we judge and think it good, that 
all these aforesaid be divided by reason and equity ; and that where the cloak 
and the coat are both found, the cloak should be taken away, and given unto 
the needy, that they do not perish for lack or want." These things spake the 
virgin Hildegard, plainly foreshowing the taking away of the temporalties from 
the clergy by the seailar lords ; and showing for what cause they shall be so 
taken away, and what manner of division shall be made of those things that 
are taken away, that they be not consumed, and spent unprofitably. 

Forasmticli as mention is here made of Hildegard, it shall not seem 
impertinent, moved 'by the occasion hereof, to give forth unto the 
reader such things as we have found in certain old volmnes, touching 


her prophecy of the coining of certain false prophets, only meaning, nicimij 

as it soenieth, the begging-friars, who sprang up shortly after licr '. 

time. The tenor whereof is this, word fur word, as we find it written. A.D. 


Hildegard's Propliecy respecting Friars and Monks. 

In those days there shall rise up a people without understanding, proud, 
covetous, untrusty, and deceitful, that shall eat the sins of the people, holding a 
certain order of foolish devotion, under the feigned cloak of beggary ; preferring 
themselves above all others, by their feigned devotion, arrogant understanding, 
and pretended hohness ; walking without shamefacedness, or the fear of God ; 
inventing many new mischiefs, being strong aiid stout : but this order shall be 
accursed of all wise men and faitliful Ciiristians ; they shall cease from labour, 
and give themselves over unto idleness ; choosing rather to live through flattery, 
and by begging. Moreover, they shall together study, how they may perversely 
resist tlie teacliers of the truth, and slay them together with tlio noble men ; 
how to seduce and deceive the nobility, for the necessity of their living and the 
pleasures of this world. For the devil will graft in them four principal vices ; Four 
that is to say, flattery, envy, liy))ocrisy, and slander : flattery, that they may Pfincipa] 
have large gifl^s given them : envy, wlien tliey see gifts given unto others, and tiirfriars. 
not unto then\ : nypocrisy, that by false dissimulation, they may please men : 
detraction, that they may extol and commend themselves, and backbite others, 
for the praise of men, and the seducing of the shnple. 

Also, they shall instantly preach without devotion or example of the martyrs, 
and shall traduce the secular princes, taking away the sacraments of tlie diurch 
from the true pastors, receiving alms of the poor, diseased, and miserable, and 
also associating themselves with the common people, having familiarity with 
women, instructing them how they shall deceive their husbands and friends by 
their flattery and deceitful words, and rob their husbands to give it unto tliem : 
for they will take all these stolen and evil-gotten goods, and say, " Give it unto 
us, and we will pray for you;" so that they, being curious to hide other men's 
faidts, do utterly forget their own : and alas, they will receive all tilings of rovers, 
pickers, spoilers, thieves, and robbers ; of sacrilegious persons, usurers, and 
adulterers; of heretics, schismatics, and apostates; of noblemen, peijurers, mer- 
chants, false judges, soldiers, tyrants, princes ; of such as live contrary to the ' 
law, and of many perverse and wicked men : following the persuasion of the 
devil, the sweetness of sin, a delicate and transitory life, and fulness even unto 
eternal damnation. 

All these things shall manifestly appear in them unto ail people, and they, 
day by day, shall wax more wicked and hard-hearted ; and when their wicked- 
ness and deceits shaU be found out, then shall their gifts cease, and then shall 
they go about their houses hungry, and as mad dogs lookhig down upon the 
earth, and drawing in tlieir necks as doves, tliut they might be satisfied with 
bread. Then shall the people cry out upon them, " Woe be unto you, ye miser- 
able children of sorrow. The world hatli seduced you, the devil hath bridled 
your mouths ; your flesh is frail, and your hearts without savour ; your minds 
have been unsteadl'ast, and your eyes deUghted in much vanity and folly ; your 
dainty bellies desire delicate meats; your feet are swift to run imto mischief." 
Remember when you were apparently blessed yet envious, poor but rich, sim- 
ple, mighty devout flatterers, unfaithful betrayers, perverse detractors, holy 
hypocrites, subvertcrs of the truth, overmuch upright, proud, unshamefaced, 
unsteadfast teacher8,_delicate martyrs, confessors for gain, meek slanderers, reli- 
gious, covetous, humble, proud, pitiftd, hard-hearted, liars, pleasant flatterers, 
peace-breakers, persecutors, oppressors of the poor, bringing in new sects newly 
invented of yourselves, merciless, wicked, lovers of the world, sellers of pardons, 
spoilers of benefices, unprofitjible orators, seditious conspirators, drunkards, de- 
sirers of honour, maintainors of miscliief, robbers of the world, insatiable, 
preachers, men-pleasers, seducers of women, and sowers of discord. For Moses, 
the glorious prophet, spake very well of you in his song : " A people without 
counsel or understanding ; would to God they did know, understand, and foresee 
the end." 

You have biiilded up on high, ana when you could ascend no higher, then 


Richard did you fall, even as Simon Magus whom God overthrew, and did strike with a 

^^- cruel plague ; so you, likewise, through your false doctrine, naughtiness, lies, 

A r\ detractions, and wickedness, are come to ruin. And the people shall say unto 

1 'iS4 y^*^' " ^° ' y^ teachers of wickedness, subverters of the truth, brethren of the 

— '. '— Shunamite, fathers of heresies, false apostles, who have feigned yourselves to 

follow the life of the apostles, and yet have not fulfilled it in any part: sons of 
iniquity ! we will not follow the knowledge of your ways, for pride and presump- 
tion have deceived you, and insatiable concupiscence hath subverted your erro- 
neous hearts; and when ye would yet ascend higher than was meet or comely 
for you, by the just judgment of God you are fallen back into perpetual oppro- 
biy and shame." 

This blessed Hildegard, whose prophecy this is, flourished about 
the year of our Lord, 1146, as it is written in Martin's Chronicles. 

Hugo, also, in his second book of Sacraments, part ii. chapter 3, 
saith, "The laity, forasmuch as they intermeddle with cartliiy matters 
necessary unto an earthly life, they are the left part of the body of 
Christ. And the clergy, forasmuch as they do dispose those things 
which pertain unto a spiritual life, are, as it were, the right side of 
the body of Christ.''' And, afterwards, interpreting both these parts 
himself, he saith, " A spiritual man ought to have nothing but such as 
pertaineth unto God, unto whom it is appointed to be sustained by 
the tithes and oblations which are oflTered unto God ; but unto the 
christian and faithful laity the possession of the earth is granted ; and 
unto the clergy the whole charge of spiritual matters is committed, as 
it was in the Old Testament. And in his seventh chapter he de- 
clareth, how that certain things are given unto the church of Christ 
by the devotion of the faithful, the power and authority of the secular 
power reserved, lest there might happen any confusion ; forasmuch 
as God himself cannot allow any disordered thing. Whereupon of- 
tentimes the worldly princes do grant the bare use of the church, and 
oftentimes use power to exercise justice, which the clergy cannot 
exercise by any ecclesiastical minister, or any other person of the 
clergy. Notwithstanding they may have certain lay-persons ministers 
unto that office ; " but in such sort," saith he, "that they do acknow- 
ledge the power which they have, to come from the secular prince or 
ruler, and that they do understand their possessions can never be 
alienated away from the king's power ; but, if necessity or reason do 
require, the same possessions, in all such case of necessity, do owe him. 
obeisance and service. For, like as the king's power ought not to 
turn away the defence or safeguard which he oweth unto others, so, 
likewise, the possessions obtained and possessed by the clergy, ac- 
cording to the duty and homage which are due unto the patronage of 
the king's power, cannot by right be denied." Thus much writeth 

The Third Disputation of John Huss, upon the Eighteenth Article 
of Wickliff, made in the third Act, the same Year, after the Feast 
of St.Vitis, touching Tithes, &c. 

" Tithes are pure Alms." 

Alms Upon this article it is to be noted, that forasmuch as alms is a work of mercy, 

mercy. ^s St. Augustine, St. Chrysostome, and others do jointly affirm, and mercy, ac- 
cording to Lincolniensis' mind, for the present, is a love or desire to help the 


miserable out of his misery : and forasmuch as the misery of mankind is two- nuhnrd 
fold; that is to say, spiritual and bodily, which is the want or Uiking away of ^i- 
the goods ; and the goods of man are eitlier the goods of the soul or of the 
body : and the goods of the soul are twofold; that is to say, the enlightening of |t.*jH' 
the mind, and the uprightness of ailection : the iiiisery of the soul is also two- 
fold ; as the darkness of ignorance, and a froward and wilful swerving from the T*o 
truth. And both the goods of the soul are wont to be comprehended under one „,igery. 
title or name ; that is to say, * wisdom :' and both the miseries of the soul, under Two 
the name of folly.' Whereupon all tlie whole goodness of the soul is wisdom, goodness 
and all the whole misery thereof is ignorance. The miseries of the body are -j-j^^ij^j^^ 
lack of meat; that is to say, hunger; and lack of drink, called thirst; and, ricaofthe 
briefly, all misery is the want of some thing which is desired. Also these arc '"'"^ ^"'* 
bodily miseries : nakedness, lack of harbour, sickness, and imprisonment. All 
the miseries therefore being numbered together, arc but one of the soul, which 
is folly and lack of wisdom, and six of the body, which the Lord, in Matthew 
XXV., doth plainly rehearse. There are also commonly appointed seven bodily 
alms ; that is to say, to feed the hungry, to give drink unto the thirsty, to clothe 
the naked, to harbour the stranger or harbourless, to visit the sick, and to bury 
. the dead ; which all together are contained in these verses : 

" Visito, poto, cibo, redimo, tego, colligo, condo." 

Which verse is thus Englished : 

Visit the sick, the hungry feed, 
Give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, 
Bury the dead, the captive redeem, 
The harbourless receive to thy lodging. 

There be also seven other spiritual alms appointed, which are these : to teach What 
the ignorant ; to counsel him that is in doubt; to comfort him who is in heavi- ^'""^ '^ 
ncss ; to correct the offender ; to forgive him who hath offended against thee ; 
to bear with those who are grievous ; and to pray for all men : which are also 
contained in these verses following : 

" Consule, castiga, solare, remitte, fer, ora." 

Which verse is thus Englished : 

Instruct the ignorant, the weak confirm, 
Comfort the heavy heart, and correct sin : 
Forgive the offender, bear with the rude. 
Pray for all men both evil and good. 

So that, notwithstanding, under the same, counsel and doctrine be compre- 
hended, as writeth Thomas in the second part of the second question, art, xxxii. 
par. 2. 

Secondly, it is to be noted that in this present article our intent is only to treat 
of bodily alms ; which, as Tliomas writeth in his second part, second question 
(art. xx.\ii. par. 1), according to some men's minds is thus defined : " Alms is a 
work whereby any thing is given unto the needy, out of compassion, for God's 
sake." And forasmuch as this definition serveth as well for the spiritual as for the 
corporal alms, therefore, to the purjiose : alms is a work, whereby any thing is 
given unto the needy in body for compassion, and for God's sake ; or that is 
given of compassion or pity imto the bodily needy for God's sake.' 

Whereupon it is manifest that alms, as St. Augustine and other holy men say, 
is a work of mercy, as also to give alms, as it appeareth by the name ; for in 
the (ireek it is derived from this word ' elemonia,' which is ' mercy ;' for as 
in the Latin this word ' miseratio," which significth ' pity,' is derived from ' miseri- 
cordia,' which is ' mercy ;' so this word ' elecmosyna,' which significth ' alms,' is 
derived from the Greek word ' elemonia,' which is to say ' mercy,' and from 

(I) " Elecmosyna est opus, quo datur aliquid indigent! in corpore, ex compassionc propter 
Deum, vel quod datur, vel datum est ex compastionc, indigeoticorporaliter propter Deum."— See 
the Latin edition, 1559, p. 48— Eo 







St. Au- 
titbe.s to 
he pure 

the word ' sina,' which is to say ' commandment,' as it were a commandment 
of mercy, or otherwise from this word, ' el«monia.' By this letter ' I,' which 
is to say, ' God,' and this word ' sina,' which is ' commandment :' it is as if it 
were said, ' the commandment of God;' as Januensis, in his book entitled 
' Catholicon,' affirmeth.^ 

For our Saviour doth command, in Luke xi., to give alms, saying, " Give 
alms, and behold all things are clean unto you :" lest that in this point there 
may be any equivocation, it is supposed, presently that the alms given by men 
is a corporal alms, given simply under the name of alms. Secondly, it is to be 
noted, that tithes, in this case, are the tenth part of goods of fortune, given by 
man simply under the name of alms for God's sake. 

These things being thus noted and supposed, the article is thus proved : 
Every gift of fortune, or temporal gift simply given under the name of alms, is 
alms. But some tithes are the gift of fortune, or a temporal gift under the 
name of alms ; therefore some tithes are alms. This consequent is manifest 
of itself. The major appeareth by the first supposition ; and the minor by the 

Item, Every gift given by a man, even of love, to relieve and help the mise- 
rable out of his misery, is an alms. The tenth part of the goods of fortune 
given by a man, simply under the name of alms for God's sake, is given by 
the same man even of love, to help the miserable out of his misery ; therefore, 
the tenth part of the goods of fortune, being given by any man simply under 
the name of alms for God's sake, is alms. The consequent is manifest. The 
major appeareth by this, that every such gift is either a spiritual or bodily alms. 
The minor seemeth hereby true, forasmuch as many holy men have given, and 
do give, even for love, to relieve the miserable out of his misery ; neither is it to 
be doubted but that such kind of tithes are alms. For St. Augustine, upon these 
words of the Lord in the Gospel, " Woe be unto you Pharisees, which do tithe 
the mint and anise," writeth thus : " If they cannot be cleansed without they 
believe in him who doth cleanse the heart by faith, to what pm-pose is it that 
He saith, * Give alms, and behold, all things are clean unto you ? ' Let us give 
ear, and peradventure He doth expound it himself. They did take out the 
tenth part of all their fruits, and give it for alms ; which any christian man doth 
not willingly. Then they mocked Him, when He spake these words to them, 
as unto men who woidd do no alms. This the Lord foreknowing said, ' Woe 
be unto you Pharisees, which tithe mint and rue, and all kind of herbs, and pass 
over the judgment and charity of God ;' for this it is to do alms, if thou dost 
understand it, begin with thyself; for how canst thou be merciful unto another, 
who art unmerciful unto thyself?" This writeth St. Augustine, plainly saying, 
that " tithes are alms." 

Also in his Enchiridion, chap. Ixxvi., upon these words of St. Luke, chap, xi., 
" Notwithstanding that which is more than sufficient, give in alms, and all 
things shall be clean unto you," he saith thus: " When he had rebuked them, 
that they washed themselves outwardly, and inwardly were full of iniquity and 
abomination, admonishing them in what, and how, a man ought first to bestow 
alms upon himself, and first to cleanse himself inwardly, he saith, ' That which 
doth remain, give in alms ; and behold, all things are clean unto you.' After- 
wards, that he might the better declare what he had given them warning of, 
and what they had neglected to do, that they shoidd not judge him ignorant of 
their alms, he saith, ' Woe be unto you Pharisees ;' as though he should say, 
' I verily gave you warning that you should give such alms, whereby all things 
might be clean unto you ; but woe be unto you who tithe the mint, me, and all 
kind of herbs, for I do know these your ahns, that you should not tliink with 
yourselves that you had given me warning thereof, and neglect and pass over 
the judgment and charity of God, by which alms ye might be cleansed from all 
yoiu- inward filthiness, and your bodies also, which you do wash, should be 
clean, and all these things, both inward and also outward;' as it is said in 
another place, ' Cleanse that which is within, and the outward tilings shall be 

(1) An extract from the Latin is here subjoined. " Et hoc apparet ex ipso nomine. Nam in 
Grsco ^misericordiaderivatur, sicut Latinfe miseratio a misericordia : sic eleemosyna ab elemonia, 
quod est misericordia ; et sina, quod est mandatum, id est, mandatum misericordiae, vel elimonia, 
per ' r melius. Et tunc dicitur ab ' eli' quod est ' Deus,' et ' sina,' quod est ' mandatum,' quasi 
Kiandatum Dei, ut dicit Januensis in suo Catholicon." Pp. 48, 49. — Ed. 



also clean ' But lest he should seem to refuse those alms which are given of Richard 
the fruits of the earth, he saith, ' You ought to have done these things;' that ^^- 
is to say, the judgment and love of God ; and not to neglect the otlier, that is ^ ^ 
to say, tlie alms of the fruit of the earth." This writeth St. Augustine, jgg^] 
expressly calling the tithes, ' alms.' 

Also Chrysostome, upon the same words, in Luke xi., " That which remain- Chrysos- 
eth give in alms," saith thus : " Whereas it was spoken of the Jewish kind of °"'^" 
cleansing, it is wholly passed ; but forasnuich as tithes is a certain alms, and 
the time was not yet expressly come to kill the sacrifices of the law, for this 
cause," he saith, " Ye ought to do those things, and not omit the other." St. 
Thomas allegeth the same in his gloss upon St. Luke. And Chrysostome him- 
self dotii touch two points : first, that tithes are alms ; secondly, tliat tithes are 
in a manner lawfxil, forasmuch as the gift thereof unto the priests did not cease 
in the time of Christ. 

Also St. Augustine, in a certain sermon on giving alms, saith thus : " What is 
it to say, ' Give alms, and beliold, all things arc clean unto you V Let us give 
ear, and peradventure he doth expound it himself. When he had spoken these 
words, witho\it doubt they thought within themselves, Who do give alms, and 
how do they give it ? They tithed all that they had, imd took out the tenth 
])art of all their fruits, and gave it for alms : which no Cln-istian readily doth. 
Mark what the Jews did : they tithed, not only their wheat, but their wine and 
oil ; and not that only, but also vile things, at the commandment of the Lord, 
as cummin, rue, and anise ; of which they took the tenth part, and gave it for 
alms. I think, therefore, forasmuch as they called to mind, and thought within 
themselves, that our Lord Christ spake in vain unto them that they did no 
alms, when they knew their own works, that they tithed the smallest and worst 
of all their fruits, and gave alms thereof, they mocked him amongst themselves, 
because he did speak in such sort vuito them, as unto men that did no alms. 
This the Lord foreseeing, by and by added notwithstanding, ' Woe be unto 
you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, who tithe your mint, cummin, and rue, 
and all kind of herbs ; for be assured that I do understand your alms. TiiUy, 
these are your tithes, these are your alms ; you tithe out the least and worst of 
fall your fruits, and have left the weighty matters of the law undone.' " Here 
St. Augustine often expoundeth that tithes are alms ; also he writeth the like in 
his book of Homilies, in his sixth homily. 

Item, For the proof of this article. That tithes are pure alms, it is thus argued. 
For this proposition, Tithes are pure alms, is infinite ; taking the truth for many 
of its particularities. It is most certain that it is not damnable, but most 
catholic, that God is something ; which being false in all particulars, it is only 
true for that alone which doth surmount all kind. Ergo, by like reason, this 
particidar' is true, tenths are pure alms : for it is thus proved. These tenths 
of a good layman being wholly distributed by a faithful minister unto a needy 
layman, according to a good intent, how can they be but pure alms, yea, and 
more pure than any alms given by any of the clergy who may be a fornicator ? 
The whole antecedent I suppose as possible, and doubtfid unto the condemners, 
if it be true. 

Item, It is also thus proved ; These tithes, and all other goods of fortune, 
are pure alms in respect of God, forasmuch as every man, emperor and king, 
is a beggar of God, as St. Augustine doth oftentimes affirm ; and, consequently, 
if he do receive fruitfully any such goodness at the hand of God, the same is 
pure alms in respect of God ; neither is there any faithfnl man who will deny 
the same, but that it simply followeth that the same is pure alms before God : 
ergo, it is pure alms. 

It is also thus argued ; All tithes are by themselves, and every part of them, 
alms ; neither is there any reason contrary to this, that they are alms : ergo, they 
are pure alms ; for they are by no other means or reason other than alms, if they 
be altogether themselves alms ; forasmuch as it followeth, if they be by any 
other means or otherwise than alms, then they are otherwise than some alms, 
and forasnuich as they themselves are some alms, it followeth that they are 
other^vise tlian they are indeed ; which is false. 

But now to pass beyond the bounds of logic, it is to be demanded, whether 

(1) ' Haec indefinita." See the Latin edition, p. 50.— Ed. 


Richard before the church was endowed, or sustenance and clothing were given to the 

^I- apostles, there was any pure alms, or whether alms were given by any other 

. ^ means by bond of debt amongst men. And, forasmuch as the reason is not to 

■ • be feigned, but that they were pure alms, so, afterwards, the custom of the same 

• thino- according unto like reason doth not alter the kind of the reason ; for so 

Suste- might beggars challenge by custom, beyond the purity of alms, the temporalties 

nance and ^yjiich they do beg. Neither doth debt utterly exclude the purity of alms before 

given"to' God ; for every man duly giving alms, doth as he ought to do: as every man 

the apo- duly receiving his alms, ought so to receive it as according to God's will ; and 

l\^Zl' ^^^^ simply to establish any human title upon the continuance of any such alms, it 

also is altogether contrary unto the reason oi alms. Iheretore, they do continuaJiy 

tithes. observe and keep the reason of the pm-ity of alms, which they liad from the 

beginning, when the bond conditioned doth not desti-oy the purity thereof; 

wherefore, there is no cause why it should be denied that tithes are pure alms, 

except that the proud should be marvellously extolled, contrary to the humility 

of Christ ; for they do challenge, by the title of their lack or want, so to be 

pleased for their tithes : for so might the begging friar, by the continuance of 

his daily begging, challenge according to the like quantity or circumstance. 

But it is no argument, that if the ciu'ate do perform his coi-poral ministry, that 

he ought, therefore, to challenge tithes by any civil title ; because that as well 

on the behalf of him who giveth the tithe, as also on the behalf of the curate, 

every such ministry ought freely to be given, and not by any civil exchange ; 

forasmuch as it is not required, but that rather the comparison of such exchanges 

is repugnant ; for so much also as no man freely giveth any alms, except he 

do look for the duty of recompense, by the law of conscience. 

Item, All temporal goods bestowed upon the clergy by the lay-people under 
condition, as the goods of the church, are the alms of them who give them: it is 
proved thus, forasmuch as all those goods are the goods of the poor; as it 
appeareth by many sayings of holy men and by the laws. 

But they were not the goods of the poor, after they were mere secular goods, 
but only by means of the work of mercy, whereby they were bestowed upon 
the poor : ergo, they were pure alms. The consequent dependeth upon the 
definition of pure alms. 

Item, All things changed to the use and power of another, either by civil 
exchange or evangelical, are changed ; but the church goods are so changed by 
one of these ministries. But the evangelical exchange is not to be feigned, 
because it is not done either by buying or selling, or any other civil exchange. 
Therefore there doth only remain a pure gift, for hope of a heavenly re- 
The ward, which is mercy, and so pure alms. And it seemeth to follow, conse- 

clergy quently, that all the clergy receiving such alms are not only in respect of God, 
eggars. ^^ ^jj other men, but in respect of men, beggars. For they would not so in- 
stantly require those alms except they had need of them : neither ought we 
to be ashamed thereof, or to be proud beggars ; forasmuch as Christ, touching 
his humanity, became a beggar for us, because he declared his need unto his 
Father, saying, &c. 

Item, When any king, prince, knight, citizen, or any other man, doth give 

unto the clergy, or to any priest for his stipend, he giveth the same unto the 

church of God, and to the private party, as a perpetual alms, that he should 

attend to his vocation, preaching, pra)ang, and studying. But this kind of 

giving doth not suffice to ground any secular dominion amongst the clergy : it 

followeth that the bare use remaineth in them, or the secular use without any 

secular power. 

Tithes The major appeareth hereby, forasmuch as, otherwise, alms should not be a 

are to be work of mercy. Whereby it may also appear, that tenths are pure alms given 

fh^^"ii'th ^^ ^^^ church, to the use of the poor. And hereupon the holy men do say, that 

part of tenths are the tributes of the needy souls. Whereupon St. Augustine, in a ser- 

goods. mon made upon the restoring of tithes, saith, " The giving of tithes, most dear 

brethren, is the tribute of poor souls therefore pay your tribute unto the 

poor." And by and by afterwards he saith, " Therefore whoso desireth either 

to get any reward, or to have any remission of sins by giving his tenths, let 

him study to give alms even of the ninth part : so that whatsoever shall 

remain more than a competent living and decent clothing, it be not reserved 

for riot, but that it be laid up in the heavenly treasury, by giving it in alms to 


the poor. For wljatsoovcr Ciod cloth give tons more tlian we have need of, he Richard 
dotli not give it us specially for ourselves ; but doth send it us to be bestowed upon ^^- 
others by our hands: if we do not give it, we invade another man's possessions." . .. 
Thus much writetli St. Augustine, and it is repeated in the l(j question, 10Q4 

I. " Decima*. " 1. 

.Mso St. Jerome in an epistle, and it is put in tlie sixteenth question, chap, 
ii. " Quiquid." " Whatsoever the clergy have, it is the goods of the |)oor." 

Also St. Augustine in his thirty-third epistle to Boniface; and it is alleged in 
the first question, aiul 12. 

Also in tlie twenty-third question, 7. " If we do possess any things privately 
which do suffice us, they are not ours, but the goods of tlic poor, whose stewards 
we are, except we do challenge to ourselves a property by .some damnable 
usvirpation." Tlie Gloss upon tliat part of the twenty-third question, 7. 
saith, " The prelates are only the stewards of the church-goods, and not lords 

St. Ambrose, also, upon this saymgof the gospel (Luke xvi.), '♦ Give account 
of your bailiship or stewardship:" "Hereby ilien do we learn, that they are 
not lords, but rather stewards and baiiitis of other men's substiuice." 

And St. Jerome, writing to Nepotianus, saith, " How can they be of tlie The cler- 
clergy, who are commanded to contemn and desjiise their own substance '. To ^^.^^ ^ 
take away from a friend is theft; to deceive the ciuirch is sacrilege, and to take of the 
away that which sliould be given unto the poor." churcli- 

And St. Hernard, in his sermon upon these words, " Simon Peter said unto f,"a not 
Jesus" (Jolm xix.), said " Truly, the goods of the churcli, are the patrimonv '"'■^* 
of the poor: and whatsoever thing the ministers and stewards of the same, """^'^°'^- 
not lorcLs or possessors, do take unto themselves more than sulKcient for a 
competent living, the same is taken away from the poor by a sacrilegious 

And Eusebius, in his treatise upon the pilgrimage of St. Jerome, wiitetli 
thus: " If thou dost possess a garment, or any other thing more tlian extreme 
necessity dotli require, and dost not help the needy, thou art a thief and a robber. 
Wherefore, dearly beloved children, let us be stewards of our teni])oralties, and 
not possessors." 

And Isidore, in his treatise, " De summo bono," chap, xlii., saith, " Let the 
bisliopknow that he is the servant of the people, and not lord over them." 

.\Iso in the fifth book of Decretals, " Extra de donationibus," sub auctoritate 
Alexandri tertii, episcopi Parisiensis.' He saith, " We believe that it is not 
unknown unto your brotherhood, tliat a bishop, and every other prelate, is but 
a steward of the church-goods, and not lord thereof." By these sayings of these 
holy men it is evidently declared, that not only tithes, but also all other sub- 
stance which the clergy have by gift or work of mercy, are pure alms, which, 
after the necessity of the clergy is once satisfied, ought to be transported unto 
the poor. 

Secondly, it is declared how the clergy are not lords and possessors of those 
goods, but ministers and stewards thereof. 

Thirdly, it is showed, that if the clergy do abuse the same, they are thieves, 
robbers, and sacrilegious persons, and, except they do repent, by the just 
judgment of God they are to be condemned. 

Antl thus, hitherto, I may pcradventurc seem to have mailo suffi- 
ciently Innij recital out of John Huss, but so notwithstanding-, that the 
commodity of those tlunfifs may abundantly recompense the proli.xitv 
thereof. Wherefore, if I shall seem unto any man, in the rehearsal 
of this disputation, to have passed very far the bounds of the history, 
]et him think thus of me, that at what time I took in hand to write 
of these ecclesiastical matters, I could not omit these things which 
vere so straitly joined witli the cause of the church. Not tliat I 



rtic/wrd make more account of the history which I had taken in hand, than 

'- — of the common utility whereunto I had chief respect. 

A. D. There v.ere besides these, certain other articles whereupon the said 

:_ John Huss had very Avisely and learnedly disputed ; but these shall 

suffice us for the present. And for the residue, we will pass them 
over to the intent we may the more speedily return to where our 
story left off, declaring what cruelty they used not only against the 
books and articles of John WicklifF, but also in burning his body and 
bones, commanding them to be taken up forty-one years after he 
was buried ; as appeareth by the decree of the said synod, the fonn 
whereof we thought hereunto to annex. 


" Forasmuch as by the authority of the sentence and decree of the 
council of Rome, and by the commandment of the church and the 
apostolic see, after due delays being given, they proceeded unto the 
condemnation of the said John Wickliff and his memory, having first 
made proclamation, and given commandment to call forth whosoever 
would defend the said WicklifF or his memory, if there were any such 
(but there did none appear, who would either defend him or his memory): 
and, moreover, witnesses being examined, by commissioners appointed 
by pope John and his council, upon the impenitcncy and final ob- 
stinacy and stubbornness of the said John WicklifF (reserving that 
which is to be reserved, as in such business the order of the law 
requireth), and his impenitcncy and obstinacy, even unto his end, 
being sufficiently proved by evident signs and tokens, and also by 
lawful witnesses, of credit lawfully given thereunto : wherefore, at 
the instance of the steward of the treasury, proclamation being made 
to hear and understand the sentence against this day, the sacred 
synod declareth, determineth, and giveth sentence, that the said John 
WicklifF Avas a notorious obstinate heretic, and that he died in his 
heresy : cursing and condemning both him and his memory. 

"This synod also decreeth and ordaineth, that the body and bones 
of the said John WicklifF, if it might be discerned and known from 
the bodies of other faithful people, should be taken out of the ground, 
and thrown away far from the burial of any church, according to the 
canon laws and decrees. Which determination and sentence definitive 
being read and pronounced, and it being demanded and asked of the 
lord president, and the aforesaid presidents of the four nations, 
whether it did please them or no, they all answered, and first, 
Hostiensis, the president, and after him the other presidents of the 
nations, that it pleased them very well : and so they allowed and 
confirmed all the premises."" * This" wicked and malicious sentence 
of the bishop, would require here a diligent apology, but that it is so 
foolish and vain, and no less barbarous, that it seemeth more worthy 
of derision and disdain, than by any argument, to be confuted. For 
what will it prevail to talk with reasons and arguments, against him 

(1) Ex actis concilii Constan. 
(2) See the edition of 1563, p. 105, and the Latin edition of 1559, p. 23.— Ed. 


wlio followcth neither reason nor arj^nment ? except, pcradvcnturc, Ric'i'^.rd 

thou wouklst seem to phiy Panncnio's part in the comedy, that is, to '. — 

join perfect reason and mad folly toifcther. First, under many A. D. 
glorious and bragging words, they pretend here a great colour of the 
catholic faith, and yet bring no reason at all to declare the catholic 
faith. If the catholic faith consist in men's scats, and not in the 
men ; in words and not in deeds, then wouhl I grant that the sec of 
Koine might seem catholic. Next, they pretend here, the authority 
of the holy sjnod ; and that, in the name of our Lord, when they 
bring forth no Scripture of our Lord. " La^vfully"" say they " con- 
gregated together :" I hear it very well ! and to the intent that this 
authority may be of greater force and effect, the consent also of the 
synod of Rome is annexed and joined unto this council ; for these 
be their words : " As it was decreed,'" say they, " in the s}Tiod of 
Rome," &c. WTiicli synod of Rome, how lawfully it was gathered 
together, the owl did sufficiently declare, which oftentimes (as The 
Clemagis doth witness), flying into the council of Rome where pope of^iiome 
John did sit, she could sooner put him out from his catholic seat 1','Jf^"^^'' 
(and so did), than she could be driven away from him with any sign or 
kind of weapon. Hereof, Christ so willing, more shall be declared, an owi. 
when we come to the place severally to speak of the council of 
Constance. In this synod, being thus gathered together, the works, 
and forty-five articles of WicklifF, were condemned, and he himself, 
forty-one years after his death, was taken out of his grave and burned. 
And what was the cause ? Only for that he, with most firm and strong 
reasons, enterprised and went about to control and rebuke their 
life, errors, filthiness, and pride, which was now grown unto that 
point, that it was not any longer to be suffered. But how much 
rather ought they in this behalf to have rendered tLinks unto 
WicklifF, for his most godly and wholesome admonition, unto whose 
good counsel, if they Ixad any thing framed themselves, much more 
truly had that seat seemed catholic. Now, if it shall be sufficient to 
condemn men or their books, whatsoever the pope's treasurer, or the 
four presidents of the four nations shall say, or pleasure is, and so 
we, standing upon the same, will defend the liberty of sin, that avc 
will neither amend ourselves, nor yet will suffer ourselves to be con- 
trolled or corrected by others, to what end then faith, godliness 
conscience, learning, or the knowledge of holy Scripture doth serve, 
I do not greatly perceive. Wlierefore, seeing the decree of this 
council hath nothing in it that can be rcvinced with argument, beside 
only bare names and authority of cardinals, archbishops, abbots, 
masters of divinity, and doctors of the law, we have, on the contrary 
part, against the witness of these seditious persons, alleged the 
testimonies of certain good men ; first of all the testimonial of the 
whole university of Oxford, and afterwards the testimony of John 
Huss, which, if it hath been read, with equal and indifferent cars ot 
the readers, I doubt not, but that it hath made as much for the de- 
fence of WicklifF, as these men's witnesses sliall do to the contrary.* 
What Hcnu'litus would not laugh, or what Democritus would not 
weep, to see these so sage and reverend Catos occupying their heads 
to take up a poor man's body, so long dead and buried before, by the 
space of forty-one years ; and yet, peradvcnture, they were not able to 


Bickarri find his right bones, but took up some otlier body, and so of a 

catholic made a heretic ! Albeit herein Wickliif had some cause 

A.D. to give them thanks, that they Avould at least spare hirn so long 
^'^^'*- till he was dead, and also give him so long respite after his death, 
forty-one years to rest in his sepulchre before they ungraved him, 
and turned him from earth to ashes ; which ashes they also took and 
threw into the river. And so was he resolved into three elements, 
earth, fire, and water, thinking thereby utterly to extinguish and 
abolish both the name and doctrine of WicklifF for ever.' Not 
much unlike the example of the old Pharisees and sepulclirc-knights, 
who, wlien they had brought the Lord unto the grave, thought to 
make him sure never to rise again. But these and all others must 
know, that as there is no counsel against the Lord, so there is no 
keeping down of verity, but it will spring up and come out of dust 
and ashes, as appeared right well in this man ; for though they digged 
up his body, burnt his bones, and drowned his ashes, yet the M-ord of 
God, and the truth of his doctrine, with the fruit and success thereof, 
they could not burn, which yet to this day, for the most part of his 
articles, doth remain : notwithstanding the transitory body and bones 
of the man were thus consumed and dispersed, as by this picture 
here set forth to thine eyes (gentle reader), may appear. 

These things thus finished and accomplished, which pertain to the 
story and time of WicklifF, let us now, by the supportation of the 
Lord, proceed to treat and write of the rest, who either in his time 
or after his time, springing out of the same university, and raised up, 
as ye would say, out of his ashes, were partakers of the same perse- 
cution ; of whom speaketh Thomas Walden in his book, " Do 
Sacramentis et Sacramentalibus,'''' cap. liii. where he saith, that after 
WicklifF many suffered most cruel death, and many more did forsake 
Martyrs the realm ; in the number of whom were William Swinderby, Walter 
Brute, John Purvey, Richard White, William Thorpe, and Reynold 
Peacock, bishop of St. Asaph, and afterwards of Chichester. 

To this catalogue also pertaineth (mentioned in ancient writers) 
Lawrence Redman, master of arts ; David Sautre, a divine ; John 
Ashwarby, vicar, as they call him, of St. Mary's church at Oxford ; 
William James, an excellent young man, well learned ; Thomas 
Brightwell, and William Hawlam, a civilian ; Rafe Greenhurst, John 
Scut, and Philip Norise ; who, being excommunicated by pope 
Eugene IV., a. d. 1446, appealed unto a general or oecume- 
nical council. *Many2 more did forsake the realm, but what they were, 
or what kind of punishment they suffered, Walden left no mention. 
But we will not suffer their names to be blotted out with silence, 
which we might by any means pick out ; but sure we are greatly 
sorry that there came nothing else into our hands but only their bare 
names. Would to God that the constant diligence of our prede- 

(!) Upon this subject a modern Romish writer observes, " A spirit of candour, would have led 
you to the discovery of something like toleration, in the conduct of your illustrious founder 
Wickeham, and his brethren ; who, whilst they condemned Wickiitf's errors, left his person 
unpunislied and unmolested during the whole of his life; and an impartial view of the dreadful 
effects of his doctrine, in this and other countries, v/ould have made yon see, in the ordinance of 
the council against his memory and remains, not an act of vengeance, but a wise and salutary 
instmction to mankind."— See Letters to a Prebendary; p. 74; by the Rt. Rev. J. Milner, D. D. 
The reader may judge by these remarks, how far tlie church of Rome that now is, differ) from 
the church of Rome in 1425.— Ed. 

(2) See edition 15fi3, p. 137.— En. 



cessors had preserved in incinory tor us tlie whole order of tlieir Ufe, n>c'"ird 

the form of tla'ir process and judpncnl, and wliat was to be observed '. 

in their adversaries, or to be eonmu'ntk'd in them. Albeit that A. I), 
matter were not ^^reatlyfor our purpose, forsomuch as all those tliinj^s ^'^^*- 
eoulil not be e(tntained in a few volumes ; and that also, l)y those 
few, it were easy to be judyed what a man mav think as touching the 
cruelty of the papists iigainst all men.* 

Peter Paine also, who flying Irom O.xford unto Bohemia, did 
stoutly contend against the sophisters, as touching both hinds of the 
sacrament of the last supper ; who, afterwards, among the rest of 
the orators, was one of the fourteen that were sent unto the eouncilof 
liasil ; where, by the space of three days, he disputed \ipon the 
fourth article, which was touching the civil dominion of the clergy, 
A. u. 1438. Also the lord Cobham, with divers others besides, whose 
names are mentioned in the king\s writ, sent to the shcrilf of North- 
ampton, the tenor of which writ of the king here followeth : 

'riie kinji to the shurilFs of Novtliampton, health. Forasmuch as Jolni 
Attyato of Chopiiigwarclen, John ^Varn•nl■l■, R. Brewood, &rc. beinp receivers 
and favourers of heretics, and especially of one John Woodward, priest, publicly 
defamed and condemned of heresy, will not be justified by the censiues of the 
cliurch, as the reverend fatlier John, bishop of Lincoln, hath certified lis: Wc, 
therefore, willinjif to withstand all defenders and favourers of such horcsies, do 
will and command as well the beforenamcfl, as namely, the aforesaid Jolin 
Woodward to be appreliended, straitly cliarging tlie same to be imprisoned by 
their bodies, or otherwise punished as shall seem good to the justices, until they 
and ever}' of them sludl submit themselves to tlie obedience of the aforesaid 
bishop in that behalf accordingly. Whereof fail you not, under pain of a 
hundred pounds. Witness ourselves : Given at our manor of Langley, the 
eighth day of March, the twelfth year of our reign. 

To these above rehearsed, and other favourers of WicklifF, within 
this our country of England, we may add also the Bohemians ; for- 
asnuich as the propagation of the said doctrine of WicklifF in that 
country also took root, coming from England to Bohemia bv this 
occasion, as in story here followeth. 

There chanced at that time a certain student of the country of Howtiit, 
Bohemia to be at Oxford, one of a wealthy house, and also of a omvicT 
n(jble stock ; who returning h(mie from the university of O.vford to |j,",^^{^^ 
the university of Prague, carried with him certain books of WicklifF, nii.i. 
' De Kealibus Universalibus,"' ' De Civili Jure, et Divino,' ' De 
Ecclesia,' ■ De Qu;estionibus Variis contra Cleruni,'' &c. It chanced 
that at the same time a certain nobleman in the city of Prague had 
founded and built a great church of Matthias and Matthew, which 
church was called Bethlehem, giving to it great lamb, and finding in 
it two preachers every day, to preach both on holy days and working- 
days to the people. Of two preachers this John IIuss was one; Thcpreat 
a man of great knowledge, of a pregnant wit, and excellently favoured oj^john" 
for his worthy life amongst them. This John Huss having familiarity J'""*" 
with this young man in reading and perusing these books of WicklifF, wickuir. 
took such pleasure and fruit in reading thereof, that not only he began wick- 
to defend this author openly in the schools, but also in his sermons, 'i,"n"uV'' 
commending him for a good man, a holy man and a heavenly man, »a">ctiu. 
wishing himself, when he should die. to be there placed, where the dignus. 

vol.. HI. II 


Richard soul of WickUff sliould be. And thus for the spreading of Wickliff 's 

L doctrine enough, and tlius much briefly concerning the favourers and 

A.D. adherents of John Wickliff in general. * Amongst' whom, I have 
^•^^^- onlv, as yet, rehearsed such, unto whom the profession of the gospel 
was perilous, and a heavy burden ; whom, notwithstanding, I thought 
not worthy to be defrauded of their praise : but now, we will convert 
oiu' style unto those, who, continuing unto the end, have followed 
the Lamb whithersoever he went, even unto the loss of their lives. 
And here I am minded first of all, if the brevity of the matter 
would suffer it, somewhat to expostulate with the cruelty of the 

Forasmuch as all mankind, having put apart all use of humanity, 
have so far degenerated even unto the iron age, or rather unto a 
brutal cruelty, that never, as I think, since the beginning of the world 
was Plautus'' proverb more verified, " one man is a wolf unto ano- 
ther ;" but amongst all the wolves, they are most cruel which are 
clothed in lambs'" skins, Avhich also do most profess peace. 

In times past among the Israelites, and in the time of Christ and 
his apostles, the worshipping and religion of God began to be altered 
unto Pharisaical superstition ; but now, the same pharisaical super- 
stition, I know not by what means, amongst Christians, is grown into 
extreme tyranny. Albeit that a small portion of this incommodity 
or evil doth fall upon those, who, for the love of Christ, do suffer vio- 
lence. For whereas all others are dead, they only do verily live again 
who die in Christ. This therefore is a most rare dignity which hap- 
pen eth but unto a few, insomuch that if we do diligently weigh the 
matter, this only happiness hath our miserable life, if that it may 
happen to any man to suffer for Christ^s sake. Again I do repeat 
the same : nothing truly can be esteemed in this world, bvit only the 
name of Christ, and to suffer for his name. 

Wherefore St. Paul doth not unworthily command, that Ave should 
not only have steadfast hope through him, but also suffer affliction 
for his sake. For howsoever the judgments of men do esteem it, 
there is no truer life than that which is laid up in Christ as a gage, 
none more absolute renown than to be slain for the Son of God. But 
this glory doth not yet appear unto our human senses, which are 
overwhelmed with the filth of this world. But at the length it shall 
appear, and peradventure sooner than shall be expedient for some, 
except with speedy repentance they do wax wise and amend, which, 
that it may the better be brought to pass, suffer me a little by your 
license, gentle reader, to talk with these cruel blood-suckers ; whereby 
they, being admonished, may repent ; or if they will not, that they 
may behold, to their great shame and rebuke, whether they will 
or no, their wicked cruelty and great slaughters, laid before them, as it 
were upon a stage. Surely it was a Avorthy saying of a jester, who 
was but a profane man, " that it is as unseemly for a prince to 
abound in tyranny, as for a physician to have many corpses." What 
shall we then say unto these reverend prelates of the church : if they 
be princes, why do they bring in so great torments into the poor 
cottages of Christ ; if they be physicians, how happeneth so great 

(1) The contents of the next few pages are from the edition 1563, pp. 130—136. See also the 
Lstin edition, pp. 53, 58.— Ed. 


death amongst the sheep? liut l)i.toro 1 will take this quarrel in Hi.-hard 

hand, I do once ag-ain admonish thee, gentle reader, of" that which I '—- 

must otlcntimes repeat in this aruTiuient. First of all, that you do , ' j 
not interpret any thing which shall he here spoken, in such a manner — '■ — '■- 
as though I would maintain any unproved doctrine : for, as I do not 
favour heretics, who are licrclics indeed, even so nmch less do I 
favour false bishops. And ag-ain, as 1 do give license unto neither 
of these, neither to the one, to use his tyrannv, nor to the other, to 
proceed in his errors, so likewise do I not go about here, to take 
away the power of the civil sword, because it is not borne bv the 
magistrate in vain. For they have their laws, their judges, and their 
punishments, necessary in a commonwealth, without which there 
should be no society, neither any discipline amongst men. But this 
my complaint doth only touch them, who professing a perfectness of 
spiritual life above all the rest of the common sort of the people, and 
who ought to be the masters of all pity and godliness, yet shall you 
scarcely find any men more venomous in hatred, anger, malice, aveng- 
ing, and all kind of t}Tanny. Who was the first that brought in 
amongst Christians these recantations, faggots, and fire, and these 
lamentable funerals by burning of the live bodies of men, under the 
name of heretics ? who, but only this flock of religious men and the 
clergy, whose part it had been rather to help those that had erred, 
and not to kill them, according to the example of their High Master, 
who came not to destroy, but to save all men. For it is never so 
certain amongst men''s opinions, but that oftentimes some error will 
intermeddle itself: the first purity of the church always excepted. 
Neither doth every error, by and by, make a man a heretic, except 
it have joined therewith an obstinate and froward will; neither do I 
know whether, in this point also, the extremities arc to be attempted 
or no ; but the quality of the heresy is to be marked, and the rule 
of the gospel is to be considered, what it doth require, and what is 
convenient for every man's profession : the profession of a secular 
judge is one, the condition of an evangelical minister is another. As 
St. Augustine writeth in the psalm, " Aliud est sella terrena, aliud 
tribunal cceleste," &c. 

But our pseudo-evangelical papists, neither marking the quality 
of the one, nor the condition of the other, nor their own ])rofession, 
neither looking upon one thing nor upon another, without all respect 
or difference, like furious Donatists, or homicides rather, under the 
cloak of religion, of cverv little word spoken against their pomp and 
ambitious pre-eminence, make a matter of heresy, whereby to murder 
and make havoc of Christ''s people. What did the heart of Bonner, 
and of such of his affinity, differ from the heart of the strongest 
pirate, or homicide, murdering by the highway .'' yea insomuch that 
the very pirates themselves (if it be true that is reported of Bonner's 
receiving into prison), be ashamed of his comparison, and to be 
counted of his society. And yet, neither pity can stay him from 
cruel bloodshed, nor shame can drive him to repent such horrible 
tyranny. Wherein tlie cai?e of these sicarcs and thieves yet may seem 
better, than of these catholics. For they, at the execution of God's 
judgment, as they cannot dissemlile their trespass, so are they sooner 
touched with repentance. The others, either with ignorance drowned, 

II 2 


Ricimrd or cliokcd witli malice, as they have spoiled the life of many more 

^' than ever did any thief; so much more be they further of repenting 

A. D. their iniquity, but think that, good service done to God, which they have 

1384. done to the devil, "vvho is a murderer from the beginning : and think 

themselves good pastors, when they devoured the poor flock, and 

played the wolves. So dangerous a thing it is, to have an ignorant 

zeal, where true knowledge is wanting. Of these did Christ pre- 

monish us before, declaring the blind ignorance of such, who, of 

their preposterous zeal, should turn iniquity and cruelty to God's 

service ; and under the title of the chmx-h, should impugn the church, 

and of sincere verity, should make heresy. 

But such as these never reigned more, or raged fm-ther, than in 
these latter days of the church, as the monuments of this history will 
declare : as who, having no regard of man's life, make every matter 
spoken against their private commodity to be ' heresy ! heresy !' In 
times past it was not accounted as a heresy, except it did contain 
blasphemy, and did bring in some great peril to the faith, or where the 
majesty of Christ was hurt : such as were the Donatists, Manichees, 
A^ppolinatists, and Arians. 

And notwithstanding the moderation of the bishops was such in 
those days, that they would not implore the emperor's aid in this 
case, except the wickedness of those heretics, who filled all places 
full of slaughter and schism, did even of necessity force them thereunto. 
As it doth evidently appear by St. Augustine and divers others, who 
thought the requiring of the profane power not so necessary in such 
business ; insomuch that he became an advocate vmto Dulcitius the 
tribune, that he should put none of them to death. The like thing, 
as I suppose, did he unto Macedonius the president, considering witii 
himself that they ought to use no other kind of weapon, in this kind 
of contention, than only the word of God, prayer, and doctrine ; or 
if the evil were past remedy, then they used to exclude them out 
of the church. And if the said Austin afterward altered his mind, 
being led thereunto, rather by the success ensuing than by his own 
judgment : that helpeth little or nothing the cruelty of our men now- 
a-days. For first of all, with what success the Babylonical fire- 
makers have exercised their tyranny upon the members of Christ, 
the matter itself doth sufficiently testify : then let us behold those 
against whom they did then so rage, what manner of Manichees and 
Donatists they were ; of whom no man is ignorant, that although 
they were called heretics, yet they were indeed furious robbers, and 
thieves, so that the matter now seemed no more to belong unto the 
office of the church, but rather to appertain to the tribunal power, 
albeit the church would wink thereat. 

Whereby it is brought to pass, that through the perilous wick- 
edness of the time, the bishops are driven to this point ; that of force 
the emperor's laws are to be received for help, and then these laws did 
threaten none other thing, but only death unto the captains of them, 
as it appeareth, in the book of the laws upon the Manichees and 
Samaritans. The disciples were punished by the purse ; and such as, 
neglecting the laws of the princes, did obstinately persevere in their 
wickedness, banishment was appointed for them : besides that at that 
time, there were no university-schools (as we call them) erected, 


to resist those mischiefs, whereas contrariwise now, there is ahnost ineimrd 
no religion, which is not armed and adorned with universities, whereby 

there may speedy remedy be liad, it' wc be so ^eatly at'raitl ot" liere- A. 1). 
tics ; but what is now-a-days come in men's minds, that setting apart ^'^^^^ 
the universities and all kind of arguments, whereby they might 
the more better, so also more easily, convince all eiTors, and finally 
forgetting all Icind of meekness, wliieli Christ himself and his aj)ostles 
do so greatly commend unto us, using no kind of reason, do think that 
heretics must be entreatetl by no other means, than with torments, 
faggots, and fire. What profit cometh of the universities, when we 
do think that the truth is to be defended by no other means, than 
with bunds, stripes, chains, and torments, &c. ? Thus we have al- 
leged, as touching heretics, as though they were the very same 
indeed, which they are now falsely accused to be. 

But now let us see what manner of things they are, whereabout 
these greed v papists make so nmch ado, with so many tragedies and 
fires. Amongst so many, who, in these our days, have been burned, 
who is it that can show me only three, who either have wickedly taught, 
or openly spoken of God ; who have detracted or taken away one so 
small a part of the divine nature of Christ ; who have taught any 
blasphemy against the Holv Ghost, or, finally, who have untruly dis- 
sented in any article of the faith .'' but all this filthy sink is troubled 
about certain circumstances of places, times, and persons, and of men's 

What doth it so much make matter, if any man do truly worship 
Christ in heaven, although he do not worship him in the sacrament .'* 
Wiiat great importance is it, if with Christ and Paul, w^e do call the 
bread the body of Christ, if we do not conceive with the school-men, 
the accident to be there without the subject ? What if wc do not dis- 
close unto the priest the number of our sins, if that wc, confessing 
ourselves truly unto Christ, do turn untr) repentance .^ What if that 
we do forsake the trust of our works .'' What if that wc do contemn the 
pardon of bishops, and repose our whole righteousness and redemp- 
tion in Christ, our only bishop .'' Is our faith therefore the less agree- 
able and conformable unto the articles given us by the apostles .'* What 
if that we, contemning the image of saints, do worship one only 
Christ in spirit and truth; shall we be any deal the less Christians 
therefore, or is not Clirist alone sufficient for us all .'' The gospel 
teacheth onlv two sacraments, which alone, if a man do reverently 
embrace, setting apart all the others, which are sprung up by men's 
institutions, what hurt shall Christianity sustain thereby ^ So like- 
wise the Scripture of God doth not permit a concubine ; but it doth 
license every man to have a wife, so that he have but one — whether 
then do von think doth bind most strictly, the will of God, or the vow 
of men ? Or if that a priest, breaking his unlawful vow, had nither 
call her, with whom he hada long timeaccomjianied, ' wife,' than 'con- 
cubine ;' what ! <loth this deserve either punishment or prisonment .'' 
Neither do I think that thereby the regiment of the church or the 
order of the clergy, should come to ruin, if that one bishop of Italy 
setting apart his primacy, which no Scripture doth allow, were re- 
duced unto the order of other bishops. And these are those great 
offences of blasphemy, for the which one Christian is so exasperated 


Richard against another, with so great fury and cruelty. Here again is the 
^^" admonition to be renewed, which hath been so often before repeated, 

^^- D. that we neither speak nor think any thing against the poUtic 
^^^"^^ but only against such, to whom it were convenient, for their profession, 
to be most meek of all men, and yet by nature they are most fierce 
and cruel. Their own constitutions declare the same in the fifth book 
of their Decretals, where it is commanded, that a heretic, convicted 
in any error (but how convicted? by authority rather than by the 
Scriptures !), should be delivered unto the secular power : neither is 
that yet sufficient that they do so imbrue the secular sword with 
blood, but that also, with their malice, they do sharpen and whet the 
same, which of itself is already sharp enough. The writers of the 
Gloss do also add this unto it, " to be burned." And these are they 
who will represent Christ unto us here upon earth, crying out often- 
times that all Chrisfs doings are for our instniction. But if that all 
our life be to be directed unto Christ\s institutions ; what thing less 
do his examples teach us, than such kind of cruelty, and especially in 
ministers, in whom he doth, with so great zeal, commend humility 
and meekness with mutual love, as the only knot of his gospel : 
wisely forbidding them, that in pulling up of the cockle, they should 
not be too rash, fearing lest peradventure that might come to pass, 
which now indeed hath happened : lest together with the cockle they 
pull up the good wheat also. Then what is there to be said, where, 
not only together with the cockle, but, instead of the cockle, the very 
wheat itself is plucked out of the floor of the Lord ? How well that 
is correspondent unto Christ''s doings let they themselves judge. 

I sm'ely am greatly afraid that they will deserve, no great thanks 
at the hands of the Lord of the harvest, when he shall come to reward 
every man according to his doings. But in this point I do not plead as 
the advocate of the heretics, if there be any who are heretics indeed. 
Neither do I go about here to discuss how far the power of the civil 
sword doth extend, or what is lawful to be done by the civil consti- 
tutions. But truly, whatsoever the necessary severity of the civil 
power doth, yet the priests and rulers of the church ought always to 
use humility and gentleness, according to the example of Him, who 
would not compel any man to his religion. What saith he ? " He 
that hath ears to hear let him hear," yet doth he not by and by 
threaten death unto him that will not hear ; neither doth he grievously 
threaten those who do depart away from him, as St. Cyprian wit- 
nesseth ; but turning unto his disciples he said, will you also depart 
from me ? He came not to occupy any civil authority, and as he did 
not possess any civil authority, so neither did he deliver any man 
over unto the civil power. Albeit it is not to be doubted but that it 
may happen sometimes, that the christian hierarchy shall need to call 
for the help of the magistrates (like as against the Donatists the 
help of the laws were very necessary), especially if the heresy do 
once grow on to tumult, schism, sedition, robbery, or to the ruin of 
the commonwealth ; in such case I suppose the foreign magistrate 
ought to foresee that the commonwealth suffer no detriment. Other- 
wise, if the heresy be such that it do contain itself within some 
private error, without passing any further, that same doth seem to 
pertain only imto the bishops and universities, neither do I greatly see 


what tlie fivil power should meddle herein : for so heresies are more Jt''i«>rd 

easily troii<len down, bcin^ convicted rather by reason, than oppressed - 
by violence, liut now, these many years, they have rajred against -^•^• 
heretics with great hatred and extreme tonuents. 

But that they have profited tiiereby, every man dotii perceive. 
How much more circumspect and worthy of a christian man were it, 
if that tliey would walk in the footstep;;, and follow the examples, of 
our forelathers, for our fathers in Christ desired rather to excel in 
learning, in tongues, in godliness, in the power of the word and Spirit, 
rather than in any worldly authoritv. So did l*aul, Peter, and 
the apostles ; so did the martyrs of the primitive age ; so did the 
learned doctors and writers after them, whose learning and labour 
were great in tlie church, although their authority was but little, after 
the manner of this world. For such is the nature of the church, that 
as it is a spiritual regiment, so by spiritual means it is maintained. 
But now-a-days you shall see many who think there is no other 
means for defending the church against heretics, than the force and 
majesty of the bishojjs only : whereby it is come to pass that the 
ecclesiastical ministration is far alienated from that, which, in times 
past, was begun in the world by Christ and his apostles ; for now it 
is grown, as it were, to an image and form of a secular empire, 
and almost unto a kingly power and riches, and, in a manner, unto 
most extreme tyranny. But if our desire be so gieat to dissipate 
heresies, I see no speedier way or remedy, than that if the fathers of 
the church would diligently take heed that the church of Christ be 
not overwhelmed with such a number of articles ; so should it soon be 
brought to pass, that not only the young branches of heresy should 
be easily cut off, wheresoever they begin to spring, but also, that in 
short time, there should no more spring or rise up. For, if wo 
should say the truth, whereupon cometh it that the world is so full 
of dissension, but only that all things are so intricate, with so many 
articles, so many censures, cautions, and school pleas, neither is there 
any article which hath not its heresy annexed unto it, as the shadow 
unto a body ; insomuch that the matter is now come unto this point, 
that nothing can now be spoken so circumspectly, but that it shall 
tend to some snare of heresy, or, at the least, suspicion. There are 
so many snares of constitutions and decrees, so manv titles of repre- 
hension and caption, specially where hitherto, instead of love and 
charitv, which now is banished, I know not into what stnmge and 
far distant place, the fury Erynnys is come in place, the depraver of 
all things, filling all the world with her reproaches and slanders, even 
for a small occasion, and oftentimes for none at all. Wherefore, since 
all things are at this point, nothing in mine opinion is to be preferred 
to this, that we, being reconciled together with a mutual conjunction 
of our minds, do take away all occasion (as much as may be) of 
brotherly offence. Whereupon especially this mischief doth grow : 
if we do commit any heresy, whatsoever doth resist against men's de- 
crees, it were better that there were fewer articles in the world, .md 
then the heresies would cease of their own accord. For hereupctn 
began the first spring of all mischief, and at this point again, must 
the method of remedy be sought for. What if that the pope's de- 
crees did extend no further than Italy? What if there were nothing 


Richttrd received into our necessary faith, which is contained in very few 
' words, but only the articles of the apostolical symbols, as they were set 
A.D. forth by the most approved councils, what should the church, the 
^^^'^' spouse of Christ, be hindered thereby? Yet notwithstanding, for 
these trifles, we do see in every place old men, young men, and also 
women burnt, neither do they spare kindred, stock, nor age, insomuch 
that it is almost less danger to offend against the majesty even of the 
most mighty princes, than to violate the sanctions of any so mean a 
bishop. Whereof the storm and tempest of persecution bath been so 
vehement in these our days, that there is almost no part of Europe, 
which is not imbrued with the blood of the martyrs which hath been 
shed. And, albeit that their decrees do most consonantly agree unto the 
Scriptures (let us also grant them that), yet were it the part of divines 
to teach, and of tyrants to compel. Now what is this by violence to 
be carried unto the fire, for certain doubtful articles of controversy, 
some not greatly sound, or peradventure disagreeing unto the Scrip- 
tures, not only heretics, but, instead of heretics, the guiltless and 
innocents. Oh what marvellous folly is this of men, that while these 
tyrants daily do exercise this tyranny in the cottages of Christ, en- 
glutting themselves with men's blood, they do triumphantly rejoice, 
as though they had done a high service unto God, and wrought a 
very good deed. Even in like sort, as in foreign wars of princes, it 
is counted great valiantness, whosoever can kill most of his enemies ; 
so likewise this is the only renown and praise amongst the heads of 
the church, which of them hath shed most heretics' blood. As we have 
heard report of John Stocksley, sometime bishop of London, that he 
did boast himself, even when he was at the point of death, giving 
thanks unto God with a loud voice, that he had sent thirty-one here- 
tics unto the infernal fire ! Verily these were words more fitted for a 
beast than for a man. 

But let these men take heed that while they go about, by their own 
fantasies rather than by any just judgment, to put heretics to death, 
that the same thing do not happen unto them which in times past 
happened unto the Jews, who when they would have entered upon 
Christ as a seditious man, they stumbled upon the Son of God. 

The which for that it may not come to pass, wisdom and learning 
chiefly in bishops, diminution of articles, judgment, an evangelical 
mind, gentleness, a zeal joined with knowledge, a care to save rather 
than to destroy men, a mind which attributeth nothing unto affection, 
but submitteth itself wholly unto the rule and governance of equity 
and the Scriptures, shall principally perform. 

But heresy is altogether to be suppressed truly, neither shall heresy 
find any maintenance at my hands. This only do I require in these 
catholics, that if they will not use the apostolic moderation, yet they 
would use some civil modesty, and rather choose to try their matters 
by some reasonable means, than with such clamours and seditious 
rashness. I do require some moderation which will lawfully convince 
those whom it is wished to oppress. I require doctrine which 
should rather bridle the heresies, than the heretics. Let them rage so 
much as they will against the name of heretics, truly I think if these 
days which do seem scarcely christian, had six Jeromes, and as many 
Augustines, although it had no other help besides, I think the church 


should want no sufficient aid to put to flight the great heaps of here- Rteitard 

lies. But forasmuch as in this extreme cruelty of the world, when '■ — 

all charity is waxed so cold, I am not i<,morant how small credit these yiw7' 

thin;jp sliail find at many men's hands, hke as also other counsels of 1- 

inoderations before mine have been ne^dected : wherefore it shouhl 
be the best for me to leave these kind of men to their owTi will, 
nitlier than to sint^ unto such as are deaf, and so to lose both time 
and labour. 

But now let us rt-tuni unto the martyrs ; but before we do enter 
into that lamentable story, we do think it worth our labour, to show 
first certain prophecies of sundry n^en, whereby so many great per- 
secutions of the world were prefigured. And first to begin ^vith 
Joiachim the abbot, wc will reliearse what was found of him in an old 
monument of Hovcden : Thus he saith, " Richard, the king of 
Kngland, in his expedition unto Jerusalem, hearing tell of the great 
fame of Joiachim of Calabria, abbot of Curacon, who, by the spirit of 
prophecy, did foreshow things to come. What time as he sojourned 
at Sicily he caused the said abbot to be sent for to him, to hear of 
him, amongst other things more, what he could declare as touching 
Antichrist : he then, expounding the mystery of the seven kings in 
the Revelation, Avhereof five were fallen, &c. said " The seven kings 
are seven persecutors, Herod, Nero, Constantinus, Mahomet, Melse- 
mutus, Saladinus, and Antichrist." But as touching Antichrist, he 
said thus, That even at that present he should be bred in Rome, and 
should be exalted in the apostolic see, of whom the apostle speaketh, 
' he is e.xalted above all things that is called God.' " 

Thus much writeth Hoveden ; and this abbot was in the year of our 
Lord 1290. There is also the prophecy of Hildegard (of whom we 
have spoken before), in the 29th bookof Vincentius. " In the year," 
says she, " after the incarnation of Christ, 1 200, the doctrine of the 
apostles, and the fervent justice which God had appointed amongst 
the spiritual Christians, began to wax slack and doubtful, but this 
womanly time shall not so long continue as it hath hitherto continued." 
Thus much writeth he ; neither did Fluentius, the bishop, doubt 
openly to preach that Antichrist was bom in his days, as it appeareth 
by Sabellicus. Also before these days, a. d. 1239, Gerardus, bishop 
of Laodicca, in his book entitled " Of the Preservation of the 
Servants of God," doth conjecture Antichrist to be even at hand, by 
the rarity of prophesying and the gift of curing. There is also a cer- 
tain prophecy of Jerome Savonarola, evident (if it be worthy credit) 
69 years before, wherein he doth affirm in this manner, " that Italy 
should be plagued with the scourge of God, for the manifold sins 
thereof, even amongst the princes, as well ecclesiastical as secular ; 
and when the cities of Rome and Florence arc overthrown then 
should the church be renewed, the which should happen very 
shortly ; and that the Turks, and Mauritanians, in these our days, 
should be converted unto the true knowledge of Christ." He fore- 
showed also, that " there should one pass the Alps, like unto 
Cyrus," who should subvert all Italy." Thus much have we found 
in the book of Gaspar Hedio, entitled the " Paralipomena." 

(I) Like ryriiii, in the greatnc*! of his achievementii, but like Hnnnibal rather, in bi.o pas!>a;;r 
of the Alps.- Kii. 


jtiihard I think also it lacketh not liis prophecy which happened a. d. 
^^' 3501, that throughout all Germany there was seen upon men''s gar- 

A.D. ments, crosses, crowns of thorn, the similitude of nails and drops of 
^'■^^^- blood fallen from heaven: and oftentimes these fell within the houses, 
insomuch that many women wore the same \o\\g time upon their 
garments : if that be true which Gaspar doth report. Hereunto also 
is to be annexed that which we read in our countryman Froysard, as 
touching one John of Rochetaylada, a Franciscan friar ; not that we 
have any certainty thereof, but that ^ve do only show what is there 
written. He, in the year of our Lord 1346, is said to have foreshowed, 
that the ecclesiastical order should suffer much through the ambitious 
. avarice and pride ; whereupon, he was by pope Clement VI. cast 
into prison. Neither is it to be passed over with silence, that which 
is reported, that Manfridus, a Dominic fi'iar of Vercellos, is said to 
have foreshowed that Antichrist should rise up in his time^ as it is 
written by Antoninus. 

And Arnoldus de Villa Nova, Catalanus, a singular mathematician 
and physician, did affirm out of Daniel and Sibil, that Antichrist, 
after the year of our Lord 1300, should fully rage over the godly, 
and that there should be persecution in the church. He said more- 
over, that these cloister monks did falsify the doctrine of Christ. That 
the sacrifice of the altar was not profitable to the quick nor to the 
dead, neither that there was any knowledge in the pope's consolations, 
but only of men's works. At the last he was sent by Frederic, king 
of Sicily, to the bishop of Rome, where by the Avay upon the sea he 
died, and was buried at Genoa. I might also have repeated the tes- 
timony of Peter John Aquitane, a Franciscan friar in Vasconia, who, 
after all the rest, prophesied that in the latter days the law of liberty 
should appear ; who after his burial was by pope Clement IV. 
declared a heretic, and his dead corpse taken up and burned, if that 
we may credit Guido of Parpinian. T'len we may also repeat those 
things which so many years before v. re pronounced of divers, as 
touching the birth of Luther, and gathered out of Melancthos"" 
commentaries upon Daniel. These things thus presupposed, and 
those also remembered, whom this miserable storm of persecution 
hath afflicted, and driven unto recantation and the uttermost terror of 
death, now our story shall return to them, unto whom God hath given a 
greater constancy of heart, and steadfastness of faith, to persevere even 
unto the death ; albeit I cannot promise the whole catalogue of them, 
forsomuch as there were so many christian martyi's in all parts of the 
world, whereof a great number were compassed in with craft and de- 
ceit, some were poisoned, others were tormented with open torments, 
many were oppressed with private and unknown murder and , death, 
others died in prison, some by famine, and some, by other means, 
Avcre openly and privately destroyed ; that it is scarcely possible to 
attain to the knowledge of a small number of them, or if that it hap- 
pen that I obtain the knowledge of the names of them, yet can I not 
by any means find out the manner of their execution, and the causes 
of all them who have suffered in so many and far distant places; 
neither do I think that one man is able to do it ; albeit this one 
thing is most certain in them all, and may be as perpetual : that 
whatsoever thing hath happened unto any one of them, by the example 


thereof, you may easily jud<je what hath happened unto them all : for- RuHnrd 

somucli as the cruelty of all the bishops towards them hath been in __. 

a manner, all alike, the form of their judijments all one, the reason of A. D. 
their condenmation ajjreeing, and the onler and kind of their death ''^^^' 
nothing dirt'crent, neither were their eauses groatlv diverse, when, as in 
a manner from the superstition of the sacrament only, and a frw 
other ceremonies, and the ambition of the clerLrv, the wjjole principal 
cause and occasion of this trouble, did spring and grow.* 

Now particularly and in order let us, by Christ's grace, prosecute 
the stories anil persecutions of the parties aforenamed as the course 
of their times shall require, first beginning with the valiant champions 
William Swindcrbv and Walter Hrute. 

Cfje .^tocn of JDilUam ^tomoerbp.' 

In the vear of our Lord 1381), William Swindcrbv, priest, within a.d.jsbp. 
the diocese of Lincoln, being accused and detected as to certain w. swui- 
opinions, was presented before John, bishop of Lincoln, and examined nmex- 
upon certain articles in the churcK of Lincoln, after the ' form and *'"'"e<i- 
order of the pope''s law, according to their usual rite observed ; his 
denouncers were these: friar Frisby< an obserrant ; friar Ilincelv, an Denoun- 
Augustine ; and Thomas Blaxtou, a Dominican. The articles where- w^swin- 
with thev charfjed him, although in form of words, as they put them "^f^^y- 
up, thev might seem something strange here to be recite^l ; yet, to friars, 
the intent that all men may see the spiteful malice of these spider- 
friars, in sucking all things to poison, and in forging that which is 
not true, as in process (Christ willing) hereafter shall better appear 
by his answers, I thought good to notify the same. 

That men may ask their debts by charity, but in no manner for Articles 
debt imprison anv man ; and that he so imprisoning is accursed. coiimed 

That if parishioners do know their curate to be a lecher, incon- |^f.'"*' 
tinent, and an evil man, they ought to withdraw from him their tithes, derby. 
or else they be fautors of his sins. 

That tithes be purely alms, and that in case curates be e\il men, 
the same may lawfully be conferred on other men. 

That for an evil curate to his subject for withholding tithes, 
is nothing else, but to take with extortion wickedly antl unduly from 
him his money. 

That no prelate may curse a man, except he know beforehand that 
he is cursed of God. 

That every priest may absolve any sinner being contrite ; and 
is bound, notwithstanding the inhibition of the bishop, topreacli the 
Gospel to the people. 

That a priest taking any annual pension upon covenant, is, in so 
doing, a simoniac, and accursed. 

That anv priest being in <leadly sin, if he give himself to con- 
secrate the body of the Lord, committeth idolatry rather than doth 

That no priest entercth into any house, but to evil entreat the 
wife, the daughter, or the maid ; and therefore he admonished the 

(1) Ex Recriitro Episc. Hereford 


Ri<^h"rd good man of the house to take heed what priest he doth let into liis 
' house. 


A.D. Another conclusion falsely to him objected ; That a child is not 
^^^^- truly baptized, if the priest that baptizeth, or the godfather or god- 
mother, be in deadly sin. 

Item, That no man living against the law of God is a priest, how- 
ever he were ordained priest by any bishop. 

These articles or conclusions untruly collected, were as cruelly 
exhibited against him by the friars in the bishop of Lincoln^s court, 
swin- Although he had never preached, taught, or at any time defended 
50^ them, as appeareth more in the process following, yet the friars with 
the friar^ their witnesscs standing forth against him, declared him to be con- 
to abjare victed ; bringing also dry wood with them to the town to bum him, 
which he and would not leave him before they had made him promise and swear, 
taJght. through fear of death, never to hold them, teach them, or preach them 
privily or openly, under pain of relapse ; and that he should go to cer- 
tain churches to revoke the aforesaid conclusions, which be never 
affirmed : as first in the church of Lincoln ; then in St. Margarefs 
church in Leicester ; also in St. Martin's church in Leicester, and in 
our Lady's churches at Newark, and in other parish-churches also, 
namely, those of Melton- Mowbray, Helhoughton, Hareborough, and 
Lentborough : which penance being enjoined liim, he did obediently 
accomplish,with this form of revocation, which they bound him to, 
in these words. 

, The Revocation of William Swinderby, whereunto he was forced by 

the Friars. 

I, William Swinderby, priest, although unworthy, of the diocese of Lincoln, 
acknowledging one true catholic and apostolic faith of the holy church of Rome, 
do abjure all heresy and error, repugning to the determination of the holy mo- 
ther church, whereof I have been hitherto defamed ; namely, the conclusions 
and articles above prefixed, and every one of them, to me judicially objected 
by the commissary of the reverend father in Christ and Lord, lord John, 
by the grace of God, bishop of Lincoln, and do revoke the same, and every 
one of them, some as heretical, others as erroneous and false ; and do affirm 
and believe them to be so, and hereafter will never teach, preach, or affirm pub- 
licly or privily the same. Neither will I make any sermon within the diocese 
of Lincoln, but asking first and obtaining the license of the aforesaid reverend 
father and lord, the bishop of Lincoln. Contrary to which, if I shall presume 
hereafter to say or do, to hold or preach, I shall be content to abide the severity 
of the canon, as I have judicially, by the necessity of the law, sworn, and do 
swear, &c. 

Thus have you the conclusions and articles of this good man, 
falsely objected to him by the malicious and lying friars ; and also the 
retractation, whereunto they, by force, compelled him ; whereby it may 
likewise be conjectured, what credit is to be given to the articles and 
conclusions Avhich these cavilling friars, wresting all things to the 
worst, have objected and imputed both to WicklifF, and all others of 
that sort, whom they so falsely do defame, so slanderously do belie, 
and so maliciously do persecute. After these things thus done and 
wrought in the diocese of Lincoln, it so befell that the said William 
Swinderby removed to the diocese and county of Hereford ; where he 
was again as much or more molested by the friars, and by John 


Tresnant, bishop of Hereford, as by the process and story here ensuing, Juchnrd 

set out at large out of their u\vii ref,nsters, may appear. ' 

A. D. 
The Process of John Tresnant, Bisliup of Hrreford, had a','ainst the ^''^^^- 

aforesaid WilUani Swinderby in the cause of Heretical Pravity, as 

the Popish Heretics call it. 

The glorious iiaiue of the Prince of Pccicc, and his counsel (whose counsellor Flourinh- 
no man is, and whosu providence in his disposition is never deceived) being in- ing invo- 
vocated, To all and singular believers of Christ, wlio shall see or hear this our (fij^"" ° 
process underwritten, John, by the suiierance of God bishop of Hereford, name, 
greeting, and peaceable charity in the Lord. Forasmuch as Ciod, the creator of 
all things, the keeper of justice, the lover of right, and the hater of malice, be- 
holding from the nigh throne of his providence the sons of men, now, through 
the fall of their first father, prune and declining to dishonest, and lilthy, and 
detestable mischiefs, and to keep under their malice, which wicked transgression 
did first gender, hath appointed divers presidents of the world established in 
siuulry degrees, by whom, and their circumspect providence, mans audacity 
should be restrained, innocency should be nourished amongst the good, and 
terror should be stiicken into the wicked not to deceive ; also that their power 
to hurt, and their insolency should be bridled in all places : and whereas, 
amongst many kinds of cares which come to our thoughts, by the duty of the 
office committed unto us, we are specially bovmd to extend our strength, chieffy 
that the catholic faith may prosper in our times, and heretical pravity may be 
rooted from out of the borders of the faithful. We, therefore, being excited 
through the information of many credible and faithful Christians of our diocese, 
to root out pestiferous plants, as sheep diseased with an incurable sickness, 
going about to infect the whole and sound flock, are by tlie care of the shepherd 
to be removed from the flock, that is to say, preachers, or more truly execrable 
oHenders of the new sect, vulgarly called Lollards; who, under a certain doked Lollard, 
show of holiness, numing abroad tlirough divers places of our diocese, and en- pLe's in- 
tleavouring to cut asunder the Lord's unsewed coat, that is to say, to rend the terprcta- 
unity of the holy church, and of the catholic faith, and also to tear in pieces ^'""l'j * 
with their tempestuous blasts the power of St. Peter, that is to say, to weaken rived 
the strength of the ecclesiastical states and degrees, and the determination of ffo™ lo'- 
the same holy church, have wickedly presumed, and do presume, from day to '"'"' 
day, to speak, to teach, to maintain, and, that which is more horrible to be 
uttered, to preach openly many things heretical, blasphemies, schisms, and 
slanderous defamings, even quite contrarj' to the sacred canons and decrees of 
the holy fathers, so that they know not to direct their paths in the ways of 
righteousness and truth, in that they expound to the people the holy Scripture as They 
the letter soundeth, after a judaical sort, otherwise than the Holy Ghost will needs f°""|,^[,,e 
have it, where the words wander from their proper significations,' and appear prophets 
to bring in, by guessing, new meanings; whereas the words must not be judged wrd'. a» 
by the sense that they make, but by the sense whereby they be made; where inprinci-s 
the construction is not boimd to the Donates' rules, where faith is far placed apparel, 
from the capacity of reason; but they labour, by their pernicious doctrines and 
teachings, public and privy, to boil out the poison of schisms between the clergy 
and the people. We, to encounter against such kind of preachers, nay rather 
deceivers, and horrible seducers amongst tiie peojile, advancing and rousing up 
ourselves in God's behalf, and that of holy mother church, with the spiritual 
sword, which may strike them wisely, and wound them medicinally,' for their 
health and welfare ; and namely, William Swinderby, priest (so pretending him- 
self to be), a-s a teacher of such kind of pernicious doctrine, and a horrible 
seducer among the people ; to whom personally ap])earing before us on the Wed- 
nesday, to wit, the fourteenth of the month of j\me, in the parish church of 
Kingston of our diocese, in the year of our Lord 13!»1, he being vehemently de- a.D.issi. 
faUicd to us of heresy, schism, and his perverse doctrines both manifest and 
privy ; we, therefore, have caused many cases and articles concerning the 
catholic faith to be ministered unto him, that he should answer to the same at 

(1) Who expoundcth the Scripture more aAer the letter, let the re«der judge by "Hoc est corpus 
{2) irsuih luedicinei *bould be ininittered 'oyoii, ye would cod /our pbyskian li'-tle thank. 


Richard a day and place for him meet and convenient, of his own choice and free will ; 
II- that is to say, on the Friday, being the last of the same month of June next 
followinof, assigned to him, at the chm'ch of Bodenham of the same our dio- 
cese : which cases and articles were exhibited to us by many of Christ's faithful 
people,! zealous followers of the catholic faith, who made information to our office; 
which cases and articles also were by us administered, as is before said, to the 
same William Swinderby ; the tenor thereof followeth, and is thus : 


Matters articulated against William Swinderby. 

Revei-end father and high lord, lord John, by God's sufferance bishop of 
Hereford : it is lamentably declared imto your reverend fatherhood on the be- 
half of Christ's faithful people, your devout children of your diocese of Hereford, 
' Lord,' that notwithstanding the misbelief of very many Lollards, who have too long a 
' Lord,' a time sprung up here in your diocese, there is newly come a certain child of 
styVe"of wickedness, named William Swinderby ; who, by his horrible persuasions and 
their own mischievous endeavours, and also by his open preachings and private teachings, 
making, j^^h pervert, as much as in him is, the whole ecclesiastical state, and stirreth 
atirao" "P' ^^^*^^ ^^^ ^^^ possible power, schism between the clergy and the people. And 
the pro- that your reverend fatherhood may be the more fully informed, who and what 
motors, to manner of man the same William Swinderby is, there be proposed and exhibited 
o'rHMe-^' hereafter to the same your fatherhood, on the l)ehalf of the samefaithftd people 
ford. of Christ, against the same William Swinderby, cases and articles ; which if the 

same William shall deny, then shall the same cases and articles most evidently 
be proved against him by credible witness worthy of belief, and by other lawful 
proof and evidences, to the end that those being proved, the same fatherhood 
of yours may do and ordain therein, as to your pastoral office belongeth. 

Imprimis, the same William Swinderby, pretending himself priest, was openly 
and publicly convicted of certain articles and conclusions bemg erroneous, 
schismatical, and heretical, preached by him at divers places and times, before 
a multitude of faithful christian people. And the same articles and conclusions 
did he by force of law revoke and abjure, some as heretical, and some as eixo- 
neous and false; avouching and believing them for such, as that from thence- 
forth he would never preach, teach, or affirm, openly or privily, any of the same 
conclusions : and if, by preaching or avouching, he should presume to do the 
contrary, that then he should be subject to the severity of the canons, accord- 
ingly as he did take a corporal oath, judicially, upon the holy gospels. 

II. Also the conclusions, M'hich by the same William were first openly taught 
and preached, and afterwards abjured and revoked, as is aforesaid, are contained 
before in the process of the bishop of Lincoln, even as they be there written 
word by word. And for the cases and articles, they were consequently exhibited 
by the beforenamed faithful christian people against the said William Swinderby, 
together with the conclusions before said, and hereafter written : of which cases 
and articles the tenor here ensueth. 

III. Item, The said William, contrary to the former revocation and abjura- 
tion, not converting to repentance, but perverted from ill to worse, and given 
up to a reprobate sense, came into your diocese; where, running about in sundry 
places, he hath presumed to preach, or rather to pervert and to teach, of his own 
rashness, many heretical, erroneous, blasphemous, and other slanderous things 
contrary and repvignant to the sacred canons, and the determination of the holy 
catholic church. What those things were, at what place and what time, shall 
hereafter more particularly bo declared. 

IV. Item, The same William, notwithstanding your commandments and ad- 
monitions sealed with your seal, and to all the curates of your diocese directed, 
containing amongst other things that no person of what state, degree, or condi- 
tion soever he were, should presimie to preach or to teach, or expound the holy 
Scripture to the people, either in hallowed or profane places within your diocese, 
without sufficient authority, by any manner or pretence that could be sought, 
as in the same your letters monitory and of inhibition, the tenor whereof here- 
after ensueth, is more largely contained ; which letters the same William did 
receive into his hands, and did read them word by word in the town of Mon- 

(I) Such as were in qiieen Mary's days ; as John Eeard, J. Avalec, Robin Papist, and other like 


mouth of your diocese, in the year of our Lord l.jyo, so that these your letters, Hichani 
and the contents thereof, came to the true and uiidouhted knowledge of the same '' 
William ; yet, notwithstanding, liath tlie same William presumed in divers ~7~T) 
placeM and times to preach within the same your diocese, after iuid agauist ijoi 
yoiu" commandment aforesaid. '— 

The tenor of the same Letters before iiiLMiliuiied followctli, and is 
this : 

John, hy the sufferance of God bishoj) of Hereford, to the dean and chapter The letter 
of our church of Hereford, and to all and singular abbots, priors, provosts, deans ""(h'^*"^ 
rural, parsons and vicars of monasteries, priories, churches, colleges, and parishes, bishop of 
and to others having cure of souls within the city and diocese of Heretord, and .''"'-■'T'^' 
to all and every other being within the same city and diocese, greeting, grace, {„ prea^"h 
and blessing. Forasmuch as the golden laurel of teaching doctoral is not from without 
above indifferently every man's gift; neither is the oliice of preacliing granted J."pjJ.' 
save to such as arc called, and esjjecially by the church admitted thereunto : 
we do admonish and require you, ail and singular clerks afore.said, and do straitly 
enjoin you all, in the virtue of holy obedience, that neither you nor any of you 
do admit any man to preach or to teach the catholic faith, saving such as the 
same office of preaching shall, by the authority apostolical, or else your bishop, 
be specially conunittedunto ; but that as much as in you shall lie, you do by word 
and deed labour to let those that would attempt the contrar}-. And you, lords, 
ladies, knights, barons, esquires, and all, and singular persons, of what estate, 
degree, pre-eminence, or condition soever ye be, remaininj' within the city and 
diocese of Hereford, we do beseech and exhort iii our Lord, that, following the 
words of our Saviour, you beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. 

Item, According to the saying of the apostle, " Be not ye carried away with Would 
divers and strange doctrines;" and that in the meanwhile, as saith the apostle, [j°'*,'^'j 
you be not removed from Llie sense of the holy ancient fathers, lest that any all men 
man by any means should seduce you ; but you, agreeing together in one mind, did be- 
sce that you honour God with one mouth. But if any men to whom that thing Jh^t^iea- 
is not specially, as is aforesaid, conunitted, shall attempt to instruct, or in this ven. 
your life to direct you into the catliolic faith, do ye deny to give them audience, 
and refuse you to be present at their assemblies, and shun ye their teachings, 
because they be wicked and perverse. And as for us, we will not omit to 
proceed, according to the sacred canons and precepts of the holy fathers, against 
such as do the contrarj'. 

Dated at London, in tlie house of our habitation, under oxir seal, the last 
day save one of December, in the year of our Lord 1389, and, of our consecra- 
tion, the first. 

V. Item, The same William, in his preaching to the people on Monday the 
first of August, in the year of our Lord 1390, in the parish of Whitney of your 
diocese, did hold and affirm, that no prelate of t!ie world, of what estate, pre- 
eminence or degree soever he were, having cure and charge of souls, he being 
in deadly sin, and hearing the confession of any under his hand, in giving him 
absolution, doth nothing : as who neither doth loose him from his sin, nor in one of 
correcting or exconnuunicating liim for his demerits, doth bind him by his sen- Wickliff*! 
tencc, except the prelate shall be free himself from deadly sin, as St. Peter was, '''''■ 

to whom our Lord gave power to l)ind and loose. 

VI. Item, The sjime William in manv places said and affirmed, in the pre- 
sence of many faithful christian people, that after the sacramental words uttered 
by the priest having the puq)ose to consecrate, there is not made the very body 
of Christ in the sacrament of the altar. 

VII. Item, That accidents cannot be iu the sacrament of the alt^ir without a -Bread; 
subject ; and that there remaineth material bread there to such as be partakers he mean 
comnmnicant with the body of Christ in the same sacrament. j^^'. '" 

VIII. Item, That a priest being in deadly sin, cannot be able by the strength stance. 
of the sacramental words to make the body of Christ, or bring to perfection any 
otler sacrament of the church, neither yet to minister it to the members of the 


Richard IX. Item, That all priests are of like power in all things, notwithstanding 
^^- that some of them in this world are of higher and greater honour, degree, or 
. p. pre-eminence. 

:fV ', X. Item, That only contrition putteth away sin, if so be that a man shall be 

duly contrite ; and that all auricular and outward confession is superfluous, and 
not requisite of necessity to salvation. 

XI. Item, Inferior curates have not their power of binding and loosing im- 
mediately from the pope or bishop, but immediately from Christ : and there- 
fore neither the pope nor bishop can revoke to themselves such kind of power, 
when they see time and place at their lust and pleasure. 

XII. Item, That the pope cannot grant such kind of annual and yearly par- 
dons, because there shall not be so many years to the day of judgment, as are 
in the pope's bulls or pardons contained : whereby it followeth that the pardons 
are not of such like value as they speak of, and are praised to be. 

XIII. Item, It is not in the pope's power to grant to any person penitent, 
forgiveness of the punishment or of the fault. 

XIV. Item, That person that giveth his alms to any, who in his judgment is 
not in necessity, doth sin in so giving it. 

XV. Item, That it stands not in the power of any prelate, of what religion 
soever he be, privately to give letters for the benefit of his order, neither doth 
such benefit granted, profit them, to the salvation of their soul, to whom they 
be granted. 

XVI. Item, That the same William, unmindfid of his own salvation, hath, 
many and oftentimes, come into a certain desert wood, called Dervallwood, of 
your diocese, and there, in a certain chapel not hallowed, or rather in a pro- 
fane cottage, hath, in contempt of the keys, presumed of his own rashness to 
celebrate, nay rather to profanate. 

XVII. Item, the same William hath also presumed to do such things in a 
certain profane chapel, being situate in the park of Newton, nigh to the town 
of Leintwarden, of the same your diocese. 

Upon Friday, being the last of the month of June, in the year above said, 
about six of the clock, in the said parish chiu"ch of Bodenham, hath the said 
William Swinderby personally appeared before us. And he, willing to satisfy 
the term to him assigned, as before specified, hath read out word by word be- 
fore all the multitude of faithful christian people, many answers made and 
placed by the same William (in a certain paper-book of the sheet folded into 
four parts) to the said articles, and the same answers for sufficient hath he to 
us exhibited, avouching them to be agreeable to the law of Christ. Which thing 
being done, the same William (without any more with him) did depart from 
our presence, because that we, at the instance of cei-tain noble personages, had 
promised to the same William free access ; that is, to wit, on that day for the 
exhibiting of those answers, and also free departing without prefixing of any 
term, or without citation, or else any other offence or harm in body or in goods. 

As for the tenor of the same answers, exhibited unto them by the 
same William, as is before specified, we have hereunder annexed it 
word for word, and in the same old language used at that time, when 
it was exhibited. And it followeth in these words. 

The Protestation of William Swinderby, with his Answers to the 
Articles by the Promoters laid against him, to the Bishop of Here- 
ford, taken out of the Registers in the same old English, wherein 
he wrote it. 

In the name of God, amen. I William Swinderby, priest, vn worthy, couent- 
ing and puqjosing, whohe with all my hart, to be a true christian man, with 
open confession knowledging mine owne defaults and vnwise deedes ; making 
openHe this protestation, cleping God to record here before our worshipful bishop 
John, through the sufterance of God bishop of Hereford, with witnesse of all this 
people, that it is not mine intent any thing to say or affirme, to maintaine or to 
defend, that is contrarie to holie writte, against the beliefe of holie church, cr 
that shoulde offend the hohe determination of Christe's church, or the true sen- AGAINST WILLIAM sWlNUl.UnV. 118 

tences of holie doctors. And if J haue here before, through mine vnciinn ng, nichartt 
been vnordercd, or, by euill counsailc, Ikiu- drceiiied, or imie tiling saide, ''• 
preached, holden, niaintaint'd, or tauglit, contrarie to the lawe of (iod, whrdlie "T^TT 
and fullie for tliat time for now and eiar with full will I reuoke it and withdraw jog/ 

it, as euerich christen man should : praying and beseeching eclic christen man, L 

to whom this writing shall come, that gif 1 ought erre (as (lod forbid that I 
doe), or euer erred in anie point, contrarie to holie writ, that it be had and holden 
of them, as for thing nought said. And all the trothes that I haue said accord- 
ing with y" law of God, that they maintainc them and stand by (hem, for life 
or death, to Ciods worshij), as a true cliristen man should, submitting nie mceklie 
to the correction of our bishop that here is, or of any other christen man, after 
Christcs lawes and holie writ ; in will euer readie to be amended, and, with this 

1)rotestation, I say and answere to these conclusions and articles that here fol- 
owen after, the which bene put to me to aunswere to. 

The first is this: That I William of Swinderby, pretending (he saith) my 
selfe a priest, was iudiciallie coiuiented of certaine articles, and conclusions of 
error, false, schimaticke, and heresie, by me, in diuers places and times, preached 
(hee saith) before multitudes of true christen men : and the same articles and 
conclusions, by need of law reuoked and forsworn, sonic as heresies, and some 
as errours and tidse : and such I afKrnied and beleeued them to be. And that 
none of them from that titne forth I should jireach, teach, or aflirme, openly or 
jiriuilie, ue that I should make no sermon to the peojile, ne jireach but by law- 
full leaue asked and gotten. And if I woidd presume in doing or affirming the 
contrary, then to the seueritie of the lawe I should be buxom,' as by nede of 
the lawe I swore. 

To this I say, witnessing CJod that is in hcaucn to my wit and vndersUmding, 
that I neuer preached, held, ne taught, tliese conclusions and articles, the which 
falsly of friers were put \ pon me, and of lecherous priestes to the bishop of 
Lincolne. For I was ordamed by processe yersaid,^of their law, by the bishop 
and his commissaries, so as I graunted them to bring my purgation of thirteen 
priestes of good fame. And so I did, with a letter, and twelve scales thereby, Wit- 
from the mayor of Leycester, and from true burgesses, and thirty men to wit- "yj^r ",1" 
nesse with me, as the duke of Lancaster knew and heard, the earle of Darby, Swinder- 
and other many great men that were tliat time in tlie lowne, that I neuer said ^y- 
them, tiuight them, ne preached them. But when I should haue made my ])ur- 
gation, there stooden forth fiue friers or moe, that some of tliem neuer saw me 
before, ne heard me, and three lecherous priestes openlie knowen, some lieuiug Thechas- 
in their lecherie twenty yeare (men sayden) or more, as, by their childer, was '•'y"''*''- 
openly knowen. Some of tliese they clepindeu denounciations, and some weren be noted, 
cleped comprobations, that weren there falslie forsworne, the\' suing busilie and 
crying, with manic an other frier, with great instance to giue the dome vppon 
nu', to bunie me, and boughten drie wood before, as men tolden in that towne . 
and these sleights, and swearing, and money giuing, as men saiden, with fauor 
of the bishop (by what lawe I wot not, but sothly not by Gods law), they saiden, 
they held me as conuicted, and juight not haue forth my purgation. So as I 
fullie forsooke them, and neuer granted that 1 said them. Ouer this they made 
me sweare neuer to hold them, teach them, ne jircach them, priuilie ne apertlie : 
and that I would go to certaine churches to reuoke the conclusions which I 
neuer said, in sclaunder of my selfe, by great instance of the friers. And so for 
dred of death and for tleshlie counsell that I had, I assented, and so I ditl. And 
also they maden me to sweare, that I should not preach (by instance of the 
friers) within that diocesse, withouten licence asked and granted, and neuer 
sithen I did. .Vnd now the same conclusions bene rehearsed to me againe : 
vhether by friers counsell I will not deme, God wot, but in slaunder of me it is: 
and therefore I will answen now (with God's helpe) to the conchisions, of the 
which the first is this: That men mowen asken tliir debts by charitie, but in 
no maner for debt to imprison any man: and that hee so emprisoning, is iConclu- 
accursed." *'""• 

So I said not ; but thus I haue said, and yet say with protestation put before : n"w"dc{it 
I'hat whoso jjursxies his brother with malice, prisoning him cruellie for debt is to be 
without mercie that faine would ])ay it if he might: he sinneth against Christe's pursued, 
teaching, ' Estotc misericordcs, sicut pater vester miscricors est.' 

(1) " Buxom," submissive —Ed. (2) " Yersaid," that \t, bcforcsaid 

VOL. III. ! 





2. Conclu- 

.■i. Conclu- 


5. Conclu- 

The second conclusion, that false friers and lecherous priests putten vpon 
me was this : That if the parochiens know her curate to hene a lechour, inconti- 
nent, and an euill man, they owen to withdraw from him tithe ; and else they 
hene fautours of his siniies. 

Thus I said not, but on this wise, and yet I say with protestation put before : 
That if it he knowne openUe to the people, that parsons or curates come to their 
benefice by simonie, and linen in notorie fornication, and done not their office 
and her duties to her parochiens by good ensample of holie life, in true preach- 
ing, lining and residence, wending awaie from his cure, occupied in secular 
office, he owes nought to haue of the parochiens, tithes, ne offi-inges, ne hem 
owes not to holde him for their curate, ny hem owes not to geuen him tithes, 
lest they bin guiltie to God of consent and maintaining of her open sinne. 
'Nemo militans deo, implicat se negotiis secularibus.' 1. quest. 1. ca. Quis- 
qiiis per pecuniam,' and dist. 8o. cap. ' Si quis.' 

The third conclusion was this, that friers and priestes putten upon me : That 
tithes purely bene almesses : and in case that curates bene euill men, they 
mowen leefidlie be giuen to other men, by temporall lords, and other temporal- 
ties been done away from men of the church actuallie and openhe trespassing. 

This I said not in these termes, but thus I saie with protestation made before : 
That it were modefuU and leefull to secular lords by waie of charitie, and 
power geuen to hem of God, in default of prelates that amend not by Gods 
lawe, cursed curates that openhe misusen the goods of holy church, that ben 
poore mens goods and customablie against the law of God : the which poore 
men, lordes ben holden to maintaine and defend, to take away and withdrawe 
from such curates, poore mens goods, the which they wrongfulhe holden in 
helpe of the poore, and their owne wilful ofteringes, and their bodily almes 
deeds, and geue them to such that dulie serue God in y^ church, and beene 
needy in vpbearing of the charge that prelats shoulden doe, and done it not. 
' Alter alterius onera portate, et sic adimplebitis legem Christi.' And as 
anenste taking awaie of temporalities I say thus with protestation made before : 
That it is leefull to kings, princes, dukes, and lordes of the worlde, to take awaie 
fro popes, cardinals, fro bishops and prelates, possessions in the church, theii' 
temporalties, and their almes that they haue giuen them ^q^on condition they 
shoulden serue God the better, vhen they verelie sene that their giuing and their 
taking bene contrarie to the lawe of God, to Christes lining and his apostles : 
and namelie in that, that they taken vppon them (that shoulden be next fol- 
lowers of Christ and his apostles in poorenesse and meeknesse) to be secular 
lords: against the teaching of Christ and saint Peter. Luc. xxii. 'Reges 
gentium.' Et 1 Pet. v. ' Neque, dominantes in clero.' And namelie when 
such temporalties maken them the more proud, both in heart and in araie, 
then they shoulden bene else, more in strife and debate against peace and 
charitie, and in euill ensample to the world more to be occupied in worldly bu- 
sinesse ; ' Omnem solicitudinem proiicientes in eum ;' and drawes them from 
the seruice of God, from edifying of Christes church, in empouei'ishing and 
making lesse the state and the power of kinges, princes, dukes, and lords that 
God hath set them in ; in wrongfull oppression of commons for vnmightfulnesse 
of realmes. For Paul saith to men of the church (vhose lore, prelates shoulden 
soueraignlie followen), ' Habentes victum et vestitum, hiiS contenti simus.' 

The fourth conclusion is this, that friers and priests putten vpon me falselie : 
That an euiU curate cursing his soget for withholding of tithes, is naught else, 
but to take with extortion wickedUe and vndulie money from them.^ 

Thus said I not, but thus I saide, and yet doe with protestation made before : 
That an euill curate cursing his parochiens, vnmightie to pay their tithing, with 
vengeance without pitie, for his singular worldlie winning against charitie, and 
not for heed of their soules, there he is hold by his power reasonablie to helpe his 
needy parochiens, and dooth nought of the goods of the church : wickedlie and 
vnduUe he withholds from them, that vhich is due to them by the law of God : 
♦ Dimittite et dimittetur vobis : date, et dabitur vobis : verum mihi vindictam, 
et ego retribuam dicit Uominus.' 

The fift conclusion is this, that friers and priests falsly putten vpon me : 
That no man may curse any man, but if he wote him cursed of God, ne the 
commers with him rennen not into sentence of cursing in any maner." 

(1.) Here may you see the falsehood of the papists, gathering articles against good men which 
they never said nor miant. 


Thus said I not, but thus I said, and say willi protestation iJUt befori; : fliat Richard 
no man ouj^ht to curse any man, but for ch;irity and witli eliaritie. ' Omnia '^• 
vestra cum cbaritato fiant.' And sikerly I say, that no wrongful! cursing of . ,^ 
pope or any prelate in earth, bindes anenst Ciod, but wlien they wrongfully and to"n|' 
wittinglie eursen men, for that men will not do their sing\dar will, vnreasonahle ' 
bidding, with higlmes of heart and cnieltie (standing patience and charity in Answer, 
them that they eursen wrongfully), he is ble.ssrd of Almightie God, and they Against, 
themselte bene cursed. Math. 5. ' Beati eritis cun> maledixerint homines,' 
&'c. Et in I'sahno : ' Malcdicent illi, et tu bcnediccs.' Et Augustinus, xi. 
quest. 3. chap. ' Illud.' 

The sixt conclusion is this, that friers and priestcs putten x^pcn me falselic : ti. Conr!u- 
T hat each priest may assoile him that sinnetn, contrition hau : and notwitli- "'""• 
standing forbiddings of ye bishop, is hoIden<? to preach to the people the gospell. 

Thus I saide not, but thus I said, and yet say with protestation made before : Answer. 
That each tnie priest may counsell simiefull men, that shewen to liim her siimes 
after the witte and cunning that God had giucn him, to turne fro sinne to ver- 
tuous life. And as touching preaching of the gospel, I say that no bishop owes 
to let a tnie priest, that God had giuen grace, wit, and cunning to doe that 
office : for both priestes and deacons, that God liad ordained deacons and 
priestes, ben holden by power giuen hem of God to preacli to the people the 
gospel, and namelie and somelie, popes, bishops, prelates, and curates : for 
this is due to the peo])le and parochiens, for to haue and askc of hem, and they 
duely and freely owen to done it, Matli. 5. Luke 5. * Ite, ecce ego mitto vos.' 
Et .Marc. 16. ' Euntes in nundum \-niuersum.' Et Math. 5. ' Euntcs autem 
pra'dicate.' Et dist. 21. ca. 'In nouo testamento.' Et Ysidor. ' De summo 
bono.' 11. Et Chrysost. distinct. 31. ca. ' Nolite.' Et .Vug. distinct. 31. ca. 
' Quisquis.' Et Circg. in suo pastorali, ca. 38. Et in Tollitano. ca. ' Ignorantia.' 
Et lerom. distinct. 95. ca, ' Ecce Ego.' 

The 7. conclusion is this, that friers and priestes falsly putten vppon me : ?; Conclu- 
That a priest taking anie thing for annuell, through couenant : in that, lie is "'""• 
schismaticke and cursed. 

This said I, neuer in tliese termes ; but thus I said, and yet say with pro- Answer, 
testation put before : That no priestes owes to sell, by bargaining and couenant, 
lus ghostUc Irauaile, ne his masses, ne liis praiers, ne God's worde, ne hallow- 
inges, baptisme, ne confirming, order giuing, for weddinges, for shrifte, for 
housell, or for ennointing : any worldl}' mens reward to aske or take for these 
or for anie of these, or for ianic ghostlie thing, he erres and doth simonie : ut 
patct 1. quest. 2. ca. ' Nullus;' et ex concilio Tribureiiti. capit. ' Dictum est;' 
et Christus, in Euangelio: A'endentes et ementes eiecit de templo. Matli. 22. 

The viiL conchison is this, that friers and priestcs putten vnto me falsly, s. Conclu- 
saying tliat I bclceue sadly as my sell sayes : 'i'hat yche priest being in deadly s'""- 
sinne, yef he put him to make Christes bodie, rather he dos idolatrie then 
makes it. 

Thus saide I not, but thus I said, and yet say witli a protestation put before : Answer. 
That vhat priest y^ puts himself presumptuously and vnwortlielie in deadlie 
sinne, wittingly to minister and to recciue that holie sacr.;ment, and so recordes 
hit cursedlie and damnably, he rcceiucs his dome : ' Qui manducat et bibit 
indigne, indicium sibi manducat et bibit." 1. Corin. 11, 

The ix. conclusion is thi.s, that friers and priestcs falsly putten \-ppon me: 9. Conciu- 
That no priestes entres into anie house but euill for to treate the wife, the *'"'■ 
daughter, or the wenche : and therefore they sayden, that I prayed tlic people 
that their husbands should beware, that they siiffer no priest to enter into her 

And if I had said thus, then I liad praied against my sclfe, for I come oft Answer. 
into mens houses : but thus I said, and yet I doe, praying christen men to be- 
ware that they nourish nor mniutaine no lecherous ])riestes in their sinncs : for 
there be vhere (a.s men wel knowen) they ben maintained in manie place?, 
continuing homclie with her women. And iclie man there sayne they paine 
therefore a certaine to the IJ. almes. Et idco ait Ysido. 11. quest. 4. ' Qui con- 
sentit peccantihus et defendit alium delinquentem, maledictus erit apud Deum 
et homines.' lo. Con- 

The X. conclusion is this, that friers and priestes putten uppon me falslie • elusion. 

(2.) •< Holdcn," that is, bound. 


Richard That a childc is not verelie baptised, if the priest that baptiseth, the godfather, 
^^- or the godmother, ben in deadlie sinne. 

~T~T7~ God wot in heauen they said full false ; but thus I said, and yet I say : that 
,',' the praiers that an euill priest praies (lining in lecherie or other deadhe sinne) 

I_ oner the child when it shal be halowed, ben not acceptable to God as ben the 

Answer, praiers of a good pi-iest. And the better and clenner the priest is, the god- 
father, and the godmother, the more graciously God will heare him, if all they 
ben not greatest nor most rich in the world. Vnde gg. xiii. q. vii. cap. ' In 
grauibus.' ' Cum is qui displicet ad intercedendum peccator admittitur, irati 
animus procul dubio ad deteriora prouocatur. ' 

n. Con- The xi. conclusion is this, that friers and priestes putten vpon me falsly : 

elusion. 'YX^^i no man, lining against the lawe of God is a priest, how euer he were 
ordained priest of anie bishop. 

Answer. Certes this is false, for I said neuer thus in these termes : but thus I said, and 
thus I say with a protestation put before : That what euerie pope, or cardinal, 
bishop or priest, or any prelate of the church, comes to his state or dignitie by 
simonie, and in simonie occupies that office, and holy churches goodes : I say 
that hee is a theefe, and that by the dome of God, and comes but to steale and 
kill. loh. 10. ' Fur non venit nisi vt fnretur, et mactet, et perdat.' And further- 
more I say, that what pope, cardinall, bishop, prelate, or priest, in manner of 
lining, or teaching, or lawes making, conti-arie to Christes lining and his lawes, 
or anie other ground, put in ruhng of the church of Christ, but by Christ and 

The true his lawes is very Antichrist, aduersarie to Jesus Christ and his apostles. 

descnp- < j^li^d fundamentum nemo potest ponere, praetcr id quod positum est, quod 

isAnti- est Christus.' Et patet 1 quaest. 3 c. 'Si quis.' Et 1 quasst. 6 c. ' Ego autem.' 

Christ. ' Qnicunq.' 

But this worshipfull father bishop of Hereford, that here is, sayes thns in his 
writing : That I William of Swinderby, notwithstanding the foresaid reuocation 
and abiuration (not setting at heart, but from euill to worse, he sales, peruerted 
so his dioces) he sales I come running about by diners places ; and by mine 
owne follie, he sales, that I haue presumet to preach many heresies, errours, 
blasphemies, schismes, and other diffames, and to holie canons and determina- 
tion of holy church contrarie and repugnant, which where and when, within 
forth more speciallie it shall be shewed forth, that ye bee falsely enformed, y'^ I 
haue presumed in diuers places in your dioces to preach heresies, errors, blasphe- 
mies, schismes and other diffames. And sire, all the coimtry knowes whether this 
be sooth or not : for sire, I presume not, sithen it is the office of a priest, by the 
lawe of Christ, to preach the gospell ; ne nought I did for presumption ; but 
for the charge that I haue of God by priesthood (if all I be unworthie), and 
to the worship of God, and helpe of christen soules, freely, without gathering of 
her goods, for my preaching. If I erred in this, I will bee amended. And sire, 
touching your mandement that ye senden to me, there was sent none. And sire, 
I made neuer yet disobedience vnto you, ne to your ministers : and yef all I 
had, me owes more to obeyche to God then to you, in that that ye bidden con- 
trarie to Christes bidding. And sire, as ye saine that I had no mind of my hele, 
it is to lightlie demet: for God forbid, but yef there lie hele more then in your 
bidding. For God wot for hele I did it, of mine and of the people, and that 
was in my minde. But sire, it semes me that ye charge not, by euidence of the 
punishing, so greatlie the breaking of Gods bests, as ye done of your own. And 
sire, if it be your wil, in default that the people wanted you to teach hem (and 
her curates did not), by the desire of the people that weren hungrie and thirsty 
after Gods word, ichone to beare vp others charge as Gods law bids, I preached : 
not for disobedience to you ; but sire, in fulfilling of the obedience that Gods 
law bids me doe. In excusing of my selfe to you of that ye blame me of, in open 
shewing to holie church, with the protestation that I first made, I answere thus 
to the articles that ye have put to me. 

L Article. The first is this : That I AVilliam of Swinderby, the Monday the first of August, 
the year of our Lord 1390, preaching to the people in the church of Witney 
of your dioces, helde and affirmed (as ye saine) that no prelate of the world, 
of what state or degree that he be, hauing cure of soules, being in deadlie sinne, 
and hearing confession of his suget, does nought in assoiling him, ne he assoiles 
him not of his sinne : and also, in amending his suget openlie sinning, and him 
for his desertes cursing, his sentence bindes not, but if that prelate be as clean 


out of dcndlic sinne as was saint Pctvr, to whoinc our Lordo pane power of Hufmni 
binding and vnbindini;.' '^■ 

I neuer tlmuj^ht this iie spako tliis, no heard it to the time tliat I saw it . .. 
written in our hooke, and tliat will witnesse the lord of the towne that has the \•l^^ 

same sermon written, and many gentils and other that hcarden me that dale ; '■ L 

but thus I said, and tluis I sale with protestation ])nt before : That there is no Answer, 
man, pope ne liishoppe, prelate ne eurate, that bindes soothlie, verilie and p,,!,".', 
<;hostly, hut in as mucli as his binding or vnbinding aeeordes with the keyes of liinding 
heauen tliat (lod gaue to IVter ; and, as S. (Jregorie saies, ' That j)ower ban they '"'" ^" '' 
onlie, that hold together the ensample of the apostles with becre teaching.' ' Illi ttt,. 
soli in hac came ])ositi ligandi atcpie soluendi potestatem liabent, sicut sancti 
apostoli <pii corum exempla simul cum doctrina tenent.'* 

The seeonde article that is put vpon nu-, is this: 'J'hat I should haue saide, 2. Article. 

preached, and atlinned, in manic places, before many true men of Christ: :');'?'' V**'!' 
1 «• 1 11 1 • 1 <• 1 • 1 • ■ • II he had 

that after the sacramentall wordes saide oi the priest, Iiaumg uitention ot con- said it. 

secration, that in the sacrament of Ciods bodie, is not verie CJods bodie. 

This saide I neuer, CJod wote, and true men that haue heard nu'. Annwer. 

The third article is this, that our bislioj) \nit vpon me : That I should haue 3. Article, 
said in many places, and alKniu^d, that accidents mow not be in the sacrament 
of the auUar without subiect, and that material! bread leucs not there with 
Gods bodie in the same sacrament. 

This conclusion I haue not holden, ne taught, ne preached, for I haue not Answer, 
inedled me of that matter ; my wit sutKceth not thereto, lint here I tell my 
beleefe with protestation put before : that the sacrament of the aidtar made by Bread 
vertue of beauenly words, that Christ himselfe said in the Cene, when bee ?,'."'• .. 
made this sacrament, that it is bread and Christs bodie, so iis Christ himselfe body in 
saies in the gospell, and S. Paule saies, and as doctors in the conuuon law haue 'he sacra- 
determined to tills sentence. Mat. 26. Mar. 14. Luc. 22. Pa. 1. Cor. 10. et '"'^"' 
11. De consecr. distinct. 2. ' Panis :' et De consecr. dist. 2. ' Corpus.' lo. 6. ' Vents 
pan is.' 

The fourth article is this, that our bishop accuseth mee of: That I should 4. Article, 
haue preaclved about and said : that a priest being in deadlie sinne, may not, by 
the strength of the sacramentall wordes, make Gods bodie, or none other sacra- 
nu'ut of the church, either performe to minister them to members of the 

Thus I neuer said, thought it, preached it, ne taught it ; for well I wot, the Answer, 
wickednesse of a priest may appaire no verie sacrament : but the wickednesse JJ^esrof 
of the prieste appaires himselfen, and all that boldnesse and example of his the priest 
sinne causen the people to liuen the worse against Gods law. Vnde Greg, 'mpaireth 
' Et si sacerdos in peccatis fuerit, totus populus ad peccandum conuertitur.' ment. 

The 5. article is this, that our bishop puts unto me : That all priests ben 5. Article. 
of euen power in al things, notwithstanding that some of this world bene of 
higher dignitie or more passing in highnessc of degree. 

Certes no man would say thus as I suppose, no more did I, ne neuer heard it Answer, 
that I wot of: but this I say with protestation made before, that what priest ^f priest^. 
Hues most holilie, ne.xt following the law of God, he is most loner of God, and 
most profitable to the church. If men speaken of worldlic power and lord- 
ships and worships, with other vices that raignen therein, what priest that desires 
and has most hereof (in what degree so he be), he is most Antichrist of all the 
priests that ben in earth. Vnde Augustinus, ad V^alerium scribens, ait: ' Nihil 
est in hac vita, et maxlme hoc tempore facilius et leuius, et hominibus accepta- 
bilius, episcopi, presbiteri aut decani oHiciis : sed si perfunctori^ aut adulatorie, 
nihil apud Deiim miserabilius aut tristius et damnabilius.' 

The sixt article is this: That onlie contrition di)es away sin, if a man be 6. Aiiidc. 
duelie contrite : and all outward confession by word is superfluous and not 
reqniret of need of health. 

This conclusion said I neuer that I know of. But tlius I say with protesta- Answer, 
tion put before : That veray contrition of heart, that is neuer without charitie 
and grace, dos away all sinnes before done of that nian that is verilie contrite. 
And all true confession made by mouth outward to a wise priest, and a good, Conre*- 
profiteth much to man, and is needfull and helping that men shewe their life *'°'^- 

(1) Note here how the papists use falsely to wrestle Rood men's sayings and articles. 

(2) Orcg. lib. iv. Scntcntiariun. 





God for- 


The pope 
proved a 

10. Arti- 

He mean 

friars. • 

to such, trusting full to Gods mercie, and that he forgiues thy sinne. Vnde 
August, de conse. distinct. 4. ' Nemo tollit peccata mundi nisi solus Christus 
qui est agnus, tollens peccata mundi.' 

Tlie 7. article is this : That I should say that lower curates haue not here 
power of binding and assoiling, by meane of pope and bishop, but of Christ 
without money ; and therefore neither pope ne bishop may reuoke such maner 
power for time and place at her will. 

Thus said I not, but not for thy > it seemes me thus, that no man shoidd 
graunt anie thing after his owne will, ghostlie, ne bodilie. But euerich man 
should be well aduiset, that hee graunt nothing but if it be the will of God that 
he so graunt it. And it is no doubt that ne God grauntes * * * ^ by meane 
persons, as does Antichrist to torment Christes people. Vnde et loh. 19. 'Ait 
Pilatus. Nescis qiua potestatem habeo dimittere te ? ' Et Christus. ' Non 
haberes potestatem aduersum me vllam, nisi esset tibi datum desuper.' 

The 8. article, that our bishop puts me to, is this : That I should say that 
the pope may not graunt such maner indulgence of yeares ; for there shall not 
be so manie yeares unto the daie of doome, as bene conteined in his buls, or in 
the popes indulgences : whereof it f illowes that indvilgences bene not so much 
worth as they semen and bene preached. 

This article I saide not thus ; but I say that the pope may graunt indulgences 
written in his letter of yeares, all so far forth that he may graunt him in Gods 
law : so far to graunt, and farther not : yeares may he graunt no mo then God 
hath set. If indulgence ben forgiuenesse of sinne, I wot well all onely God for- 
giues sinne. If it bee releasing of paines in purgatorie ordeinet of God, if God 
haue bidden him release so many, or ordeined that hee should release so manie,. 
he may then release hem : yet if it be in his owne disposing to release whom 
him likes, and howe much, then he may destroy purgatorie, and let none come 
there, and release his own pain, as charitie wots. So it seemes he may be liker 
to be saued, if himselfe list. If anie go to purgatorie, then it seemes hee full 
failes charitie. If buls ben the indulgence that men bringen from the court, 
then ben they not so much worth, as they costen there ; for lightlie they might 
bee lost, drenched, or brent, or a rat might eaten them : his indulgence then 
were lost. Therefore sire, haue me excuset, I know not these termes : teach me 
these termes by Gods law, and truely I will learne hem. 

The 9. article is this that I should haue said : That it is not in the popes 
power to graunt to any man (doing penance) remission from paine, ne from blame. 

Leude I am, but this article said I not thus leudly : but thus I say, that sithen it 
is onlie due to God to giue and to graunt plenarie remission from paines and 
from blame, that what euer he be, pope or other, that presumptuousHe mis- 
takes vpon him that power that is onlie due to God ; in that (in as much as in 
him is) he makes himselfe Christ, and blasphemeth in God, as Lucifer did, 
when he said : ' Ascendam et ero similis Altissimo.' Farther I say, if the pope 
holde men of amies, in mainteining his temporalties and lordship to venge him 
on hem that gilten and ofFenden him, and geues remission to fight and to slay 
hem that contrarien hem, as men sayden he did by the bishop of Norwich,^ 
not putting his swerd into his sheath, as God commanded Peter. 'Mitte,' &c.he 
is Antichristus, for he dos contrarie to the commandementes of Jesus, y'^ bade 
Peter forgiue to his brother seuentie sithe seuen sithe. ' Si peccauerit in me 
frater mens, quotiens dimittam ei? Septies?'&c. *Et Christus: Non dico tibi 
septies, sed septuagesies septies.' 

Tlie 10. article is this, that our bishop puts to me: That I should haue said: 
that a man geuing his almes to anie man after his dome (not hauing need), 
sinnes, in so giuing. 

This article soothlie I saide not in these termes ; but of this matter I haue 
spoken, and will, with protestation made before, on this wise : that it is medefuU 
to giue almes to ich man that asketh it bodily or ghostlie, but not to giue to ich 
shamelesse begger, strong and mightie of bodie to get his lifeloode leuefull 
and Avill not; and in vhat degixe so he be, men owen not to geue it to such a 
one, that hee vnreasonablie asketh, for if he giue it to him wittinglie, he sinnes 
as fautor of his idlenessie. Vnde Sap. 12. 'Si bene feceris, scito cui bene feceris, 
et erit gloria in bonis tuis multa.' 

(1) " Not for thy;" that is, notwithstanding. (2) Something here lack th in the copy. 

(3) Of this Henry Spenser, bisliop ol Norwich, see vol. ii. p. SOS. 


TIic 11. article is this, that is put to iiu-, that 1 sliould haue said: 'I'liat it is Uhhard 
not in the power of anie jjrelate of what euer priuate religion, to {jraunt letters ^^ 
of the pood decdes of their order, ne snch benefices gruuntet profits not to hele a ii 
of soules to hem that tiiey ben grauntel to. 13yi 

I said nener thus in these ternies ; but thus I say with protestation : That pre * 

lates of priuate religion niowen graunt ; letters of the good deedes of her order ; Answer, 
but the gostly niede that conies of good deedes, they mow not graunt, for that is 
oiulie propriet to (lod. And if they blinde the people in misbeliefe for her 
worldlie winning, wittinglie behetting hem of her owne graunt ghostly medes Good 
in heauen by her letters and her scale (vncertaine, who shall be danuned), but <ltfils of 
nuike the people bolder to siiuie by trust of her praicrs : hit is none heal to the pru,i'n," 
soules, but harnies to that one and to that other. ' For (Jod shall yeld tocchone thing, 
after here werks :' ' Ipse reddet vnicuicpie secundum opera sua.' 

The 12. article is this, that our bishop puts to me: That I many times and 12. Arii- 
ofl haue come (he saies) to a desert wood, clejjed Derwoldswode, of his dioces : '^'•-■• 
and there, in a cliappell not hallwood, biit accurset shepheardeshulke,' by mine 
owne foUie, haue presumed to sing (but rather to curse) in contempt of the keies. 

Hereto 1 say, that this is f;dsly put vj)on me of hem that told you this, l-'or Answer 
it is a cha]>pell where a priest sings certaine dales in the yeare, with great so- 
lenuiitie : and certes I neuer song therein seth I was borne into this world. 

The 13. article is this: That 1 should also presume to sing in an unhallowet n. Ani- 
chai)pell, that stonds in the parke of Newton, besides the towne of Lcyntwardy, cle. 
of tins same dioces. 

Truely I wot not vhere that place stonds. 

The 14. article is this: That 1 should say that no man owes to sweare for anie 14. Arti- 
thinp, but simply withcuten oth toafKrme or to denie ; and if he sweare he sinnes. •^''^• 

Tliis article said i not, that I haue mind of, in this mancr : but oft I haue Answer, 
said and yet will, that men should not sweare by anie creature by the law of 
God, and that no man should sweare in idel, as welnigh all the i)cople vseth. 
And therefore me thinkes it is no neede to comfort the people in swearing; for 1,.° ^lu*^'^"^ 
froui the olde vnto the yong, and namely men of holie church, breken his heste, creature, 
and few bishops pursuen hem therefore. 

The 15. article is this: That I should haue taught to true men of Christ, that iS- Ani 
on no maner they should worship the image of him that was done on the 
crosse, or the image of the blessed mayd his mother, or of other saints into 
honour and worship of the same ordcinet in y^ mind of them. And oft sithes, y^ 
worshipper of such image he has reprouet, saying, andstronglie affirming, that 
churchmen sinnen and done idolatrie. 

Tliis conclusion liaue I not said in these tennes. But this I say with protes- Answer, 
tation, tliat God commaundes in his lawc in divers jjlaces. (Exod. 20. Leuit. 19. 
and 2<j. Deut. 5. and 7. Tobiae 1. Bamc. 6. 2. ad. C'orin. 10. F^say 1'). lere 2. G. 
8. and 10. 22. and vltimo. Sapient. 13. ll.andlo. Mac. 5. and Threnonmi 1. and 
poBtremo), that men should not worshippen grauen images tliat ben werkes of 
mens hands : and also he bids that men should not make to hem graueji Im.iRcs 
images in likenesse of the things that ben in heauen, to that end to worshippen l^.'^'^^^^j'* 
hem : sethen neither God ne Christ by his manhood gaue neuer commande- ped. 
ment to make these images, ne expresse counsell, ne his apostles in all his lawe, 
ne to worship such that bene made. But well 1 wote, that by mens owne rela- 
tion that haue misbclieuet in hem, that many men sinnen in maiunefrie wor- 
shipping stich dead images : notforthy,' to the men bene images good to 
w horn they haue bene but kalendars, and through the sight of hem they knowen 
the better and worship])en oft Ciod and his saint.s. And to such men they 
done hanne that setten her hope and trust in hem or done any worsliip to hem 
against Gods law and his heste. Vnde ait Gregorius, in Rcgistro, libro. 10., in 
epistnlaad Serenum Kpisconum. ' Si quis imagines facere voiuerit, minime pro- 
hibe : adorare onmino prohibe. Sed hoc solicite fratemitas tua :idmoneat, vt e.\ 
visione rei gesta?, ardorem compunctionis percipiant, vt in adoratione totius 
Trinitatis posteniantur.' 

These conclusions, points, and articles that I havi-, vndcr protestation, in th s 
booke affirmed, I will stand by hem, and maintaine hem (with the grace of 
Almightie God) to the time that the contrarie be prouct duclie by Gods law : 

(I) Dr. Shopnr (2) " Notforthy," that Is nolwithst-inding. 


Richard and this protestation I make for my faith and my beliefe as I did at the begin- 

^^- ning : Tliat wliensoeuer this worshipful! or any other christen man shewes me 

veraily by Gods hiwc tlie contrarie of this, I will holy forsake hem, and take me 

- o ^^ the veray tronth and better understanding ofwisermen, readie to be amended 

^•^"^ • by the law of Jesu Christ, and be a true christen man and faithfuU sonne of holy 

church : and of these I beseech you all beare witnesse Avhere ye commen. 

Subsequenter vero, quia fide dignoiami relatione recepimus, quod idem Gu- 
lielmus Swynderby latitabit quo minus posset in propria persona citari ipsum 
Guliehnum viis et modis per Edictum publicum ad instar albi prsetoris in ecclesia 
nostra Cathedrali Herfordensi ct parochialibus ecclesii de Kington Croste, et 
Witney nostrse diocesis ; ubi idem Guilielmus solebat commotari citari fecirhus, 
prout et quemadmodum in modo citatorio continentur, cujus tenor sequitur in 
hsec verba. 

William Swinderby keeping from the Bishop was cited as followeth. 

The tenor John, by God's permission bishop of Hereford : to his dear sons, our dean of 
of theri Leamster, to the parsons of Croft, Almady, and Whitney, and also to the vicars 
of Kingston, Ladersley, Wiggemore, and Monmouth Clifford, and of St. John's 
altar in our cathedral church of Hereford, and to the rest of the deans, parsons, 
vicars, chaplains, parish priests, and to others, whosoever in any place are ap- 
pointed through our city and diocese of Hereford, sendeth gi-eeting, grace and 

We bid and command, charging you straitly, in the virtue of holy obedience, 
that you cite or cause to be cited peremptorily, and imder the pain of excommu- 
nication, WiUiam Swinderby, pretending himself to be a priest; that'he appear 
before us, or our commissaries, the twentieth day of this present month of J uly, 
at North Lodebury, within our diocese, with the continuance of the days follow- 
ing in other places also to be assigned unto him if it be expedient, till such 
things as have been, and shall be laid against him, be fully discussed: to answer 
more at large to certain positions and articles, touching the catholic faith, and 
the holy mother church's determination, that have been exhibited and ministered 
imto the said William ; and to see and heare also many things that have openly, 
in judgment before us and a great number of faithful Christians, by him been 
even in writing confessed, to be condemned as heretical, false, schismatical, and 
erroneous ; and to see and hear positions and articles denied by the said Wil- 
liam, to be proved by faithful witnesses, and other lawful trials against the said 
William ; and to receive for his false, heretical, erroneous, and schismatical doc- 
trine, what justice shall appoint, or else to show causes why the premises should 
not be done. 

And if the said William lieth privily, or else cannot be so cited in his proper per- 
son, we will that in your churches, when most people shall then come together 
to divine service, you openly, with a loud voice and that may be understood, 
cause the said William peremptorily to be cited unto the premises, certifying the 
same William, that whether he shall appear the day and place appointed or no, 
we, notwithstanding, will proceed imto the premises against the said William, 
according to the canonical decrees by form of law, in the absence or contumacy 
of the said William notwithstanding. We will, moreover, if the said AVilliam 
shall appear at the said day and place as is aforesaid, before us, friendly hear 
him, and honestly and favourably, as far as we may with God's leave, deal with 
him ; granting free license to come and to go for his natural liberty without any 
hurt either in body or goods. And see that you fully certify us of the things 
that you or any of you shall do about the execution of this our commandment, 
and that, by your letters patent, signed with your seal authentical ; giving also 
faithfully to the said WilUam, or to his lawful proctor, if he require it, a copy of 
this our present commandment. 

Given at our house of Whitborne, under our seal, the fifth day of the 
month of July, in the year of our Lord 1391. 

First Sitting against WilUam Swinderby. 

On Thursday the twentieth of July, in the year of the Lord aforesaid, we, in 
the parish church of North Lodebury aforesaid, about six of the clock, sitting in 


judgment, after that it was reported unto us, how ♦.lie aforesaid William was Richard 

personally taken and lawfully cited, caused the same William then and there : — 

openly in judi,Mnent to bi' culled out, to do, hear, and receive such thin<;s, A. I). 
whereto he was afore cited, and to do otherwise that which justice should per- i;591. 
suadc. And the said William appeared neither by himsell", nor by ])roctor; but 
only by a servant, whose name we know not, he sent unto us a certiiin schedule 
of paper, made like an indenture, to excuse him. After which schedule, seen, 
read, and with ri','ht deliberation weighed, and, in any wise notwithstanding, we 
adjudged the said William (after he was often called, and long, even to the due 
hour tarried for, and by no means appearing), worthily, for his obstinacy and for 
liis stubbornness we assigned unto him the twenty-ninth day of July, in the 
church of Ponsley, to appear before us with the aforesaid safeguard, to answer 
more fully to such articles, and otherwise to hear, receive, and do, as before is 

Second Sitting against William Swinderby. 

On Saturday tlie twenty-ninth of July, and in the year of the Lord aforesaid, T''c »e- 
wc, John, by God's permission the fore-remembered bishop, in the church of j._ ^, 
Pontesbury, of our diocese, at six of the clockor thereabout, sitting in judgment; 
made the said William of Swinderby to be openly called, that (as was to him ap- 
pointed and assigned) he should appear before us, to answer to the aforesaid 
articles more fully, and to declare the said articles, as the darkness of his answers 
did worthily reipiire. And because the said William, being called, and long, for 
a due time looked for, did make no means to appear, we pronoiuiced him to be 
obstinate, and for his obstinateness (to overcome his malice, and of our exceed- 
ing favour) thought good to appoint, and did appoint the eighth of August, 
then next followhig, at Cleobm-y Mortemere of the same our diocese, unto the 
said William for tlie same thing. 

Third Sitting against William Swinderby. 

On Tuesday the eighth of August, the year aforesaid, I, John, by God's The third 
permission bishop of Hereford aforesaid, in the church of Cleobur}' Mortemere, ^^^ ''*^'- 
about six of the clock, sitting in judgment, caused the aforesaid William Swin- 
derby to be called many times openly, to do and receive about the premises, 
according to the appointment of the same day what justice shoidd advise ; 
which William did not appear at all. Whereupon, we, after that the said Wil- 
liam was called, and often proclaimed, and long looked for, but not appearing 
at all, did judge him worthily (as of right appertained) obstinate; and, for his 
obsthiateness, assigned him the sixteenth day of the same month of August next 
folhjwing, in the parish church of Whitborne of the same our diocese, to bring 
forth, or to see brought forth, all laws, muniments, and other kinds of proofs; 
and to see also witnesses brought forth, admitted, and sworn, by whom and 
which things we intend to prove the aforesaid articles, or at leastwise some of 
the same. 

Fourth Sitting ajjainst William Swinderbv. 

On Wednesday the sixteenth day of the month of August, the year aforesaid. The 
we John, the bishop, in the parish church of Whitborne aforesaid of our diocese, 'j'".^'' 
sitting in judgment, caused the said William Swinderby oftentimes to be called, *^ * "*" • 
who, ;i3 is aforesaid, ajjpeared not at all ; whom, after that he was so called, pro- 
claimed, and long looked for, and yet by no means appearing, we pronounced to 
be obstinate. We received also, by certain faithful Christians and zeahms men for 
the catholic faith, of our diocese, a certain process made and had at another 
time against the same William, before the reverend father in God and lord, 
lord John, by the grace of God bishop of Lincoln, confirmed by the hanging on 
of the seal of the same reverend father, the lord of Lincoln.' And these 
faithful Christians, moreover, against the obstinateness of the said William 

(i; Of this proMM mention is made before, p. 109. 



Richard Swinderby brought forth discreet men, Master William Leviet, parson of the 

• parish church of Kyversly, and also Edmund Waterdon, parish chaplain of the 

A. D. '^'^apel of N., and Roger Newton, and Hugh Sheppert, laymen of our diocese or 

1391 Lincoln, asking instantly that they might be received for witnesses, to prove 

some of the aforesaid articles, whom against the obstinateness of the said Wil- 

ham Swinderby, we thought good to receive, and did receive, and their oaths 
to the holy gospels of God, being laid hands on corporally in our hande, and did 
dihgently examine them in proper person severally in form of law, whose say- 
ing and depositions are afterwards brought in ; and, at the instance of the same 
faithful Christians, we assigned the second day of September next following, to 
the said William Swinderby, to say and allcdge against the said process, v,'it- 
nesses, and their sayings, in the said church of Whitbom ; decreeing that a 
copy should be made for him of those things that were brought forth, and of the 
depositions of the witnesses, * • • [Here we fail in our copy, till the re- 
gister come to our hands again.] 

by the dore, but wendith upon an other halfe, bee is a night theefe and a 
day theefe. And there he telleth how he that flieth from their flocke, is 
not the sheapherd but an hired man, and it pertaineth not to him of the 
sion '"^'" To the second conclusion : That, he saien, is eiTour or heresie, that toucheth 
taking away of the temporalties and of lordships of priests that bene euill 
Declara- I sale, me seemeth that the conclusion is tme, and is this : That it were 
medefull and leeftdl to secular lordes, by way of charitie, and by power giuen 
to them of God, m default of prelates that amend naught by Gods lawe ; 
cursed curates that openlie misuse the goods of holy church, that ben poore 
mens goods : and customably ayens the law of God (the which poore men, 
lordes ben holden to maintaine and defend), to take awaie and to draw from 
such curates, poore mens goods in helpe of the poore, and their owne wilfull 
ofieringes, and their bodilie almes deedes of worldlie goods, and giue them to 
such as duelie semen God in the church, and ben readie in vpbearing of the 
Sft"^v ^^^^""g^ *^^at prelates shoulden doe and done it not. And as anentes taking away 
upon con- ^^ temporalties, I say thus : That it is leefull to kings, to princes, to dukes, and 
dition is to lords of the world, to take away from popes, from cardinals, from bishops, 
upoVthe P'"'^^^tes, and possessioners in the church, their temporalties, and their almes 
breach of that they haue giuen them vpon condition that they shoulden serue God the 
eveiy better : when they are verilie scene that their giuing and taking bene contrarie 
dition. J-o the law of God, conti-arie to Christes lining and his apostles ; and namelie 
in that they taken vppon them, they that shoulden be next followers of 
Christ and his apostles in poorenesse and meekenesse, to be secular lords 
against the teaching of Christ and of S. Peter. Tmelie me seemeth that all 
christen men, and namelie priestes shoulden take keepe, that their doing were 
according with the lawe of God, either the old law, either the new. The 
priestes of the olde lawe weren forbidden to haue lordships among their bre- 
thren : for God said, that he would be their part and their heritage. And Christ, 
that was the highest priest of the Newe Testament, forsooke worldlie lordship, 
and was here in fourme of a sei-uaunt, and forbad his priests such lordships, and 
said, ' Reges gentium dominantur eorum, &c. vos autem non sic' That is : 
' The kings of the heathen, beare dominion and rule, &c. ; but you shall not 
do so.' And as S. Peter saith, ' Neque dominantes in clero,' &c. 'Not bearing 
rule and dominion of the clergie,' &c. So it seemeth me : that it is against 
both lawes of God, that they haue such lordshippes, and that their title to such 
lordshippes is not full good. And so it seemeth me, that zif they bene 
thereto of euill lining, it is no great perill to take away from them such lord- 
ships, but rather meedftill, if the taking awaie were in charitie, and not for sin- 
gular couetousnesse ne wrath. And I suppose that if friers, that bene bounden 
to their founders to Hue in pouertie,> woidde breake their rule and take world- 
lie lordships, might not men lawfullie take from them such lordships, and 
make them to line in pouertie as their mle would 1 And forsooth it seemeth 
me, that priestes oughten also well to keepe Christes nile, as friers owen to keepe 

(1) If the pope may take from the friars, to cause them to keep St. Francis rule, may not the 
emperor take from the pope, to cause him keep Christ's rule. 


the nilc of their founder. Jeremie witnessetli, howo God commended Rachabs nichari 
chiklreii, for they wuulde not breake their faders bidding in drinking of wine. ^'• 
And vet Jeremie nrofered them wine to drinke. And so I trowe, that God . rj 
woulde commend his nriestes, if they wouldcn forsake worldUe lord.shi])s, and ^^{n^ 

hoUlen them apayd witli Ufelot, and with clotiiing; and basic them about Ll 1- 

their heritage of heauen. And God saith, Nuineri. 18., (' In terra eorum nihil 
possidebitis, nee tenebitis partem inter eos : Kgo pars et ha?redita3 vestra in medio 
filiorum Israel, &c. Et Deut. 1 8. ' Non liabebitis sacerdotes et Lcuitae et omnes qui 
de eadem tribu estis, partem et hiereditatem cum reliquo Israel, quia sacrificia 
Domini et oblationes cius comedent, et nihil accipient de possessionc fratrum 
suoruni. Dominus enim ipse est haeredita.s ipsonim, sunt locutus est illis.' Kt Luc.-c 
14. ' Sic ergo onmis ex vobis, qui non renunciauerit omnibus qu.e possidet, non 
potest mens esse discipulus.' Et leronymus in Epistola. 34. Et Bernardus libro 
20. ad Eugenium Papa. Et Hugo ' De Sacramentis,' parte. 2. libri Secundi cap. 
7. Et 12. q. pri. cap. 'Duo sunt:' Et cap. 'Ciericus.' Et Bernardus, 'in Scrmonc 
de Apostolis, super illud : ' Ecce nos reliquimus omnia.' Et Chrysost. super 
Math. Et * Vetus Testamentum : That is, you shall haue no inheritance in their 
land, nor haue np part amongest them : I will be your part and inheritance 
amongest the children of Israel,' &c. Deut. 18. ' The priests and Leuites, and all 
that be of the same tribe shall haue no part nor inheritance with the rest of 
Israel: because tlay shall eat the sacrifices of the Lord and his oblations, and 
they shall take nothing of the possession of their bretliren. The Lord himself 
is tiieir possession, as he spake unto them.' And y« 14. chapter of Luke • ' Euen 
so euerie one of you, which forsaketh not all that lie possesseth, cannot be mv dis- 
ciple.' And Jerome, in his 14. Epistle, hath the like wordes. And Bernard in 
his 20. booke to Eugenius the ])ope. And also Hugo in his booke ' De Sacra- 
mentis,' the second part of his second booke, the 7. chapter. And also in the 
12. q. first chap. ' Duo sunt,' and in the chap. ' Ciericus.' And agaiiie, Bernard 
in his booke ' De sermone de Apostolis,' vpon this place : * Ecce nos reliquimus 
onuiia.' 'Behold we leaueall,' &c. Chrysost. v|)on the gospel of S. Math. &c. 

The third conclusion toucheth the matter of preaching of priests, withouten 3. Concla- 
leaue of bishops, and is this : That such true priestes may counsell sinflill sion. 
men, that shewen to them their sinnes, after the wit and cimning that God 
hath giuen, to turne hem from sinne to vertuous life, and as touching preach- 
ing of the gospel. 

I say that no bishop oweth to let a true priest, that God hath giffen grace, wit, Declara- 
and cunning to do that office : for both priestes and deacons, that God hath or- ''°"" 
dained deacons or priestes, bene holden by power geucn to them of God, to 
preach to the people the gospel : and namelie, andsouerenlie, popes, bishops prelates 
and curats ; for this is due to the people and the parisheners, to haue it and aske it. 
And hereto seemeth me, that Christ said generallie to his disciples : ' Ite et 
praedicate Euangelium omni creaturae,' ' Goe and preach the gospel to all crea- 
tures,' as well as he said, ' Ite et baptizate omnes gentes,' ' Goe and baptise all 
nations,' that also as well longeth preaching to priests without leaue of a bishop 
as doth baptising : and then why maie he not preach Gods worde withouten a 
bisliops leaue ? And sithen Clirist bade his priests preach, who should forbidden 
them preach? The apostles were forbidden of a bishop at Jerusalem, to A priest 
speake more of the name of Jesus, but Peter said: 'Si iustum est in con- ^'J?''Y'^ 
spectu Dei, vos potius audire quam Dominum, indicate.' That is, ' Whether it preach, 
be iust in the sight of God to heare and obey you before the Lord : be though 
vour selues judges.' A bishop may not let a priest of giuing l)odilie ;dmes in and'*""'^* 
liis dioces : nuich more may he not let the doing of s])irituall almcs in his dioces bishop 
bv Gods lawe. A priest may saie his mattines withouten the bishops leaue : '?''''^' *"' 
for the pope that is aboue the bishop, hath charged priestes therewith : preach 
and me thinketh that Christes bidding should be all so much of charge as the word, 
the popes. Math. 10. ' Eimtes autem pra>dicate. Ite ecce ego mitto vos.' 
Et. Mar. IG. ' Euntes in mundum ^■niuersem,' Src. Luca* 10. Et Anachtus pap. 
dis. 21. can. 'In nouo Test^imento." Et lk?da 8uj)er illud: ' Messis quideni 
mvlta.' Kt Isidorus ' De siunnto bono.' ca. 4-1. Et Gregorius in canone dis. 
43. ' Prirconis quippe oflicium su.scipit,' &c. Et Chrj-sostom. distinct. 43. 
• Nolite timere.' Et. Aug. dis. 34. cap. ' (Juisquis.' Et Gregorius in suo 
postorali. c. 38. ' Qui enim est.' Chrysost. hom. 31. et in ToUitano concilio : 
' Ignorantia.' Et Aug. in Prologo sermonum suorum ; et leronymus, dis. 9. 







sion dou- 

6. CouclU' 


' Ecce o<^().' Et Au$^. super id : ' Homo quidain pcrcgriiius?' That is, 'Go you 
forth and ])reacli :' and again, 'Bchokl I send you,' &c. Mar. IG. ' Go you into all 
the world,' &c. and Luk. 10. cap. ' In Nouo Testamento.' And Beda vpj)on 
this place. ' Messis quidcni multa:' the haniest is great. Also Isidorus, ' De 
sununo bono.' cap. 41. AndGregorius in the canon, dist. 43. ' Pragconis cpiippe 
officiuni suscipit, &c. and Chrysostome in his 34 distinction : ' Nolite tiniere :' and 
Augustine in the 31 distinction, cap. ' Quisquis.' And Gregorius in his Pastoral 
cap. 38. ' Qui enini est.' And Chrysostome in his 31. Homelie. Et in Tolli- 
tano conciho, 'Ignorantia.' And Augustine in the prologue of his Sermons. 
And Hierome in the 95. distinct. ' Ecce ego.' And Augustine \'pon this 
place : ' Homo quidam peregrinus.' ' A certaine traueller.' 

The fourth conclusion toucheth the sacrament of the aultar, and is this : 
That wholly I beleeue that the sacrament of the aultar, made by vertue of 
heauenlie wordes, is bread and Christes bodie, so as Christ himselfe saith in the 
gospel, and as S. Paul saith, and as doctors in the common law haue deter- 
mined : To this sentence John G. ' Moses hath not giuen you bread from 
heauen, but my father will giue you bread from hcauen." He is the true bread 
that came downe from heauen and giueth life vnto the worlde. My father 
giueth vnto you bread in deed : the verie true bread of God is that, which 
came downe from heauen and giueth life vnto the world. I am the bread of life : 
The bread which I will giue is my flesh.' And in the canon of the Masse, 
' Panem sanctum vitae ajternae,' 'The holie bread of life.' And Corinth, the 10. 
chap, and iirst epistle. ' The bread which wee breake, is it not the communi- 
cating of the bodie of the Lord ? Let a man proue himself, and so eatc of that 
bread,' &c. And canon ' Ue consecratione' distinction 2. vnder the authoritie 
of Hilarius the pope : ' Corpus Christi quod sumitur de altari,' &c. And Augus- 
tine in the foresaid distinction : ' That which is scene, is bread,' &c. That which 
, faith requireth, is bread, and is the body of Christ. And in ye foresaid distinc- 
tion, cap. ' Omnia qiiaecunque,' &c. By these two sentences it is manifestlic de- 
clared, that that bread and this, be not two, but one bread and one flesh. Note 
the words for that he saith, the bread and flesh ; and the author, ' De diuinls 
officiis ;' and also Augustine in his booke, ' De remedijs penitentia; :' ' Why pre- 
parest thou thy teeth,' &c. And Ambrose, ' De Sacramentis :' ' De consecratione :' 
distinct. 2. ' Reuera mirabile est,' iSrc. ' This meat which you receiue, and this 
bread of one which descended from heauen, doth minister the substance of 
eternall life ; and whosoeuer shall eate the same, shall not die euerlastinglie, and 
is the bodie of Clu-ist.' Note how he saith, ' and is the bodie of Christ.' 

The 5. article telleth of forgiuenesse of sinnes, and is this : That verie contri- 
tion withouten charitie and grace, do away all sinnes before done of that man, 
that is verilie contrite, and all true confession made by mouth outwardly to a 
wise priest and a good, profiteth much to a man, and it is needtiill and helping, 
that' men shew their life to such, trusting fullie to Gods mercie, that be for- 
giueth the sinne. 

And hereto I say, that there bene two remissions of sinnes : one that belongetli 
onelie to God : and that remission is the clensing of tlie soule from sinne : and 
the other remission, a certifying that one man certifieth anothei-, that his 
sinnes be forgiuen of God, if he be sory with all his heart for tliem, and is in 
full will to leaue them for euer : and tliis maner of forgiuenesse longeth to 
priests. Of the first maner of forgiuenesse, Dauid saith : ' And I said I will con- 
fess my vnrighteousnesse vnto the Lord, and thou forgauest me my misdeede.' And 
Zacharie saith : ' And thou, O child, shalt be called the prophet of the highest, 
&c. to giue knowledge of saluation vnto his people for the remission of their 
sinnes, by the bowels of Gods mercie.' And John Baptist: ' Behold the Lambe 
of God that taketh away the sinnes of the world.' And S. John the Euange- 
list saith in his epistle : ' If we confesse our sinnes, he is faithfidl and iust to 
forgiue vs our sinnes, and cleanse vs from all our iniquitie.' And it followeth : 
' If anie man sinne, we haue an aduocatewith the father, euen Jesus Christ, and 
liee it is that is the propitiation for our sinnes.' And of the other remission of' 
sinnes Christ speaketh in the gospel, and saith : ' Whose sinnes ye forgiue, they 
shal be forgiuen.' And mans forgiuenes auaileth litle, unless God forgiue om- 
sinnes through his grace. 

The G. conclusion teacheth indulgences and pardons, that the pope graunt- 
etliin his bulles, and men callen it an absolution, ' A poena et culpa.' 


Of this manor of spcach I cannot fiiidc in the gospel, no in no place of holie nuhnrd 
write, ne I haiie not read that ('lirist vscd this muiuT of remission, ne none of '' 
his apostles. Hut as me seemeth, if the j>ope had such a power, sithen the . .. 
piines after a man's deatli bene much {greater than anie bodily pains of the i»fii 
world : me thinketh he shoidd of eharitie keep men out of such paines, and ^J__L 
then men neede not totinde so manie vicious priests after their life, to bring their Kither 
souies out of puri,'atorie. An other thing me thinketh, that sithe the popes ""^■''^ '" 
power ne mtiy not keep vs in this world fro bodily paines as from cold, from {'ory'.or 
hunger, tVom dread, from sorrow, and other such ])aines, how should his power else tlie 
helpe vs from spiritual! paines, when we bene dead.' But for that no man J."^^!"* 
commeth after his deatli to tell vs the sooth in what ])ain they bene, men mow tell Thc 
thcreof wliat hem lust. S. John saith in Ids Apoealyps, that he saw vnder the vv^'* 
aultar, the souies of them which were slayne for the word of God, and for the p",, J^^.^.., 
testimonie which they had. ' And they did crie with a loud voice, saying : none 

' Howe lontr Lord, holie and true, doest not thou reuen<rc our bloud of them wliich ,'^"'"! 

o ' '^ o _ i)oQily 

dwell on the earth ." And white stoles were giuen to eucrie of them to rest pain. 

a while, till the number of their fellow seniantes and brethren should be l^rn". 

fidfilled, which also remained to be slaine as they were,'&c. Here seemeth it, ^^umtal- 

that these soides were not assoiled ' a pu?na,' that is, from paine : for their desire ritual. 

is not fulfillcn. And thev were bidden abide a while, and that is a i)ain. And ""^ ''""' 

•i" 1 <• • • • 1 1 !• • • 1 1 "" power 

if martyrs were not assoiled from panic, it is hard tor anie man to saie, that he grounded 

assoileth other men ' a poena.' Also good mens souies haue not but spirituall ^yon 
blisse, and they want bodilie blisse, untill their resurrection in the day of dome. to'^bMng'" 
And after they desiren to haue that blisse, and abiden it, and tiiat is paine to from 
them. And I cannot see that the pope hath power to bring him from this pain. P»'n°^ 
But if anie man can shew me, that he hath such a power graunted in the troth tory. 
of Holy Write, I will gladlio leefen it. 

The 7. point speaketh of the pope and is this: Sithe it is onlie due to God, 7.Conclu- 
as I haue said before, to gene and to graunt plener remission, from paine, and i;""- 
from blame, that whatsoeuer he be, pope or oilier, that presumptuouslie mistaketh niakcth 
v])pon him the power that onelie is due to God, in that, in as much as in liiiu is, himself 
he maketh himselfe euen with Christ, and blasphemeth God, as Lucifer did, chVi'sr" ' 
when he said, ' Ascendam, and ero similis altissimo.' That is, ' 1 will ascend, and 
be like the highest,' &c. 

For that I say, if the pope holde men of armes in maintaining of his tempo- 
ral! lordship, to venge him on them that gilten and offenden him, and geueth 
remission to fight and to slaie them, that contraricn him, as men sayden heedid 
by the bishop of Norwich, not putting his sworde in his sheath, as God com- The 
niaunded to Peter, he is Antichrist. For hee doth the contrarie of the com- ^!'|!^P,J^ 
mandement of Jesus Christ, that bade Peter forgiuen to his brother 70. sithe Henry 
7. sithe. Well I find in the gospel, that vhen Christ sent his disciples to Sa- S'pcnser, 
marie, the Samaritanes would not receiuen them. And some of them bidden wamo/ 
Christ, that hec should make a fire come downe from heaucn, to destroy the set up of 
citie. And hee blamed them, and said : ' Nescitis cuius spiritus estis : filius ho- IggiP"''" 
minis non venit animas perdere, se'dsaluare.' That is, ' Ye know not of what i,is ene- 
spirite ye are: the sonne of man is not come downe to destroy, but to sauc the mics. 
hues and souies of men,'&c. If Christ then come to saue men, and not to slea conwwy*' 
them, who that doth the rcuors liereof, is against Christ, and then he is Anti- to Christ. 
Christ. Christ bad Peter put his sword in liis sheath and said : ' Omncs qui 
gladium acceperint, gladio peribunt.' That is : ' All which take the sword, 
shall perish with the sworde.' And I cannot finde that Peter drewe out his Proved 
sworde after that time, but suffered as Christ said : ' Cum senueris, alius cinget An^t'j^ 
te, et ducet quo tu non vis.' That is, 'When thou shalt waxe old, another shall 
gird thee and lead thee whether thou wilt not." And tlierefore said Peter, ' Christ 
sufFered for vs, leauing vs example that we should follow his steppes. And 
Paule saitli : ' Not defending your selues, but geue place to anger: leaue re- 
uenging to mee, and I shall reward them,' &c. And therefore it seenietli to 
mee, that it is as much against Christes luue, that his vicar should bee a fighter, 
sithen that hee mote be a shcpheard, that should go before his sheepe, and let 
them come after him, and not with swordes to driue them away from him. For 

(1) If the mart>T« bciivj dead, \yt not assuri<! fioMi ^rief rf tarrjlng, much less can they 3«*oil 
other* from paini of purBatory. 







given to 
the pope. 

Two sorts 
of an- 
tinges in 

A defec- 
tion in 

as Cmist saith, 'A good shepheard shall put his life fot his sheepe.' Andzif all 
that Christ had, were two swordes, when hee was taken of the J ewes, he said 
himselfe, it was, for tliat the Scriptures moten zit be fulfilled : ' Quoniam cimi 
iniquis deputatus est,' that is : ' Hee was reputed among the wicked :' and not to 
figure two swordes, that men sayen the pope hath, to gouerne witli the church. 
And when I see such doings of the pope, and manj' other that accorden not 
with Christes lore, ne his lining : and when I reade diuers Scriptures of holie 
writte, I am foide astonied whether they shoulden be understanded of him, or 
of anie other. And I pray you for Gods loue tell me the sooth. Christ saith : 
' Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall seduce manie,' &c. 
Christ (I wot well) is as nmcli to say, as he that is anointed; and two anoint- 
ings there weren in the lawe, one of kings, another of priests. And Christ was 
both king and priest, and so the pope saith that he is. And if all that haue 
bene emperours of Rome, and other heathen kinges, haue bene Antichristes, 
they come not in Christes name. But who so commeth in Christe's name, and 
faineth him Christe's frend, and he be priuilie his enemie, he may lightlie be- 
guile manie. Saint Paule saith : ' Before there commeth a defection first, and 
the Sonne of perdition shall be reuealed, which is the aduersarie, and is extolled 
aboue all that is named God, or which is worshipped : so that he shall sit in 
the temple of God, shewing him selfe as God.' And it foUoweth in the same 
place : ' And now ye know what holdeth till he be reuealed in his time, for 
he worketh alreadie the mysterie of iniquitie. Onhe he that holdeth, let 
him holde till he come abroad, and then that wicked one shall be reuealed, 
whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the spirite of his mouth,' &:c. And Saint 
John saith in the Apocalyps : ' I sawe another beast ascending out of the 
earth, and two homes like to the lambe. He spake like the Dragon, and had 
the power of the first beast.' Manie such authorities astonieth me oft sithes, 
and therefore I pray you, for the loue of God, to tel me that they meane. 


The Sentence against William Swinderby. 

Tlie which schedule' aforementioned, with the contents thereof, diligently 
of us perused, Ave, considering that diseases which be not easily cured with 
gentle remedy must have harder plaisters ; considering, moreover, these his 
articles, with his answers to the same, and to other articles also lastly against 
him produced ; first mature deliberation had before upon the whole matter with tlie 
aforesaid masters and doctors, as well secular as regular, to a great number, 
observing in the same all things to be observed in this behalf, have given 
sentence against the said William in form as foUoweth. 

The name of Christ being invocated, we John, by the permission of God, 
bisliop of Hereford, sitting in tribunal seat, having God before our eyes, 
weighing and considering the articles by the aforesaid faithful Christians put up 
against the said Swinderby, pretending himself to be priest, with his answers 
upon the same ' Actis et Actitatis ' before us, in the cause of heretical 
perversity, with the mature deliberation had before, in this behalf, with masters 
and doctors of divinity, and also of other faculties, with their counsel and 
consent, do pronounce, decree, and declare the said William to have been, 
and to be, a heretic, schismatic, and a false informer of the people, and such 
as is to be avoided of faithful Cliristians. Wherefore we admonish, under the 
pain of the law, all and singular Christains, of what sex, state, condition, or pre- 
eminence soever, that neither they, nor any of them, within our diocese, or any 
other, do believe, receive, defend, or favour the said WiUiam, till he shall de- 
serve fully to be reconciled to the bosom again of holy church. 

The Appeal of William Swinderby from this Sentence of the 
Bishop prefixed, vnto the King and his Council. 

' In nomine patris, et filij, et spiritus sancti,' Amen. I William Swinderby, 

priest, knowledge openlie to all men, that I was before the bishop of Hereford 

the third day of October, and before manie other good clerks,to answere to 

certaine conclusions of the faith that I was accused of. And mine answer was 

(1) Mention was made of this E.chcdule before, in the first day's act, p. 120. 


tills : That if the bishop or any man couthe shewe me by Gods law, that my RUhari 
conclusions or mine unswi-res were error or hercsie, I would be amended, and ^^ 
openlie rcwoke tliem before all the people. • • • ' knowes in any of my con- . .. 
elusions, but sayden singly with word, that there were errours in them, and logi 

bidden me subioct me to tlie bishop, and put me into his grace and reuoke mine !_ 

crrour, and shewed me nouglit by Gods law no nxson, ne proued which they 
weren. And for I would not knowledge me guiltie, so as I kncwe no crrour in 
them, of which I should be guiltie, therefore the bishop sate in dome in mine 
absence, and deemed nie an hereticke, a schismaticke, and a teacher of errours, 
and denounced me accursed, that I come not to correction of the church. And 
therefore, for this vnrightfull iudgemcnt, I appeale to the kings justices for 
manie other causes. 

One cause is, for the kings court, in such matter, is aboue the bishops court : The 
for after that the bishop has accursed, hce may ne fcare by his law, but then •'■"R* 
mote he sech succour of the kings law, and by a writ of ' significauit,' put a above the 
man in prison. bishops 

The second cause is, for in cause of heresie there liggeth iudgement of death, '^°"'^- 
and that dome may not be giuen without the kings justices. For tlie bishop 
will say: ' Nobis non licet interficcre quenquam,' that is, ' It is not lawfuU for 
vs to kill any man : as they sayden to Pilate, vhcn Christ should be deemed. 
And for I think that no justice will giue sodainly and vntnie dome as the bishop 
did, and therefore openlie I appeale to hem and send my conclusions to the 
knightes of the parliament, to be shewed to the lordes, and to be taken to the 
justices, to be well auiset or that they geuen dome. 

The third cause is, for it was a false dome : for no man is an hereticke, but WTiat is 
he that maisterfuUie defends his errour or heresie, and stiflie maintaines it. ». '>'^'^«-- 
And mine answcre has ben alwaie conditionall, as the people openlie knowes : for 
euer I say, and yet say, and alway will ; that if they cannen shew me by Gods 
law that i haue crret, I will gladlie ben amcndet, and reuoke mine errours ; and 
so I am no hereticke, ne ncucr more in Gods grace will ben in no wise. 

The fourth cause is ; for the bishops lawe, that they deme men by, is full of The 
errours and heresies, contrarie to the tnicth of Christes law of the gospell. bishop's 

For there as Christes law biddes vs loue our enemies, the popes law geues vs condem 
leaue to hate them and to sley them, and grauntcs men pardon to werren againe nation 
heathen men, and sley hem. And there as Christes law teache vs to be mer- [^"psfej 
cifull, the bishops lawe teaches to be wTctchfull. For death is the greatest and 
wretch that men mowen done on him that guiltie is. errors. 

There as Christes law teaches vs, to blcssen him that diseazen vs, and to pray 
for him, the popes law teacheth vs to curse them, and in their great sentence 
that they vscn, they presume to damme hem to hell that they cursen. And this 
is a foule heresie of blaspheme : there as Christes lawe bids vs be patient, the 
popes law iustifics two swords, that wherewith he smiteth the shecpe of the 
church. And he has made lordes and kinges to sweare to defend him and his 

There as Christe's law forbiddeth vs lecherie, the pope's law iustifies the 
abhominable whorcdome of common women, and the bishops, in some place, 
haue a great tribute or rent of whorcdome. 

There as Christe's laws bids to minister spirituall thinges freelic to the people, Contra- 
the pope with his law selles for money, after the quantitie of the gift, as par- [J^g^^**^' 
dons, orders, blessing, and sacramentes, and praiers, and benefices, and preach- the pope 
ing to the people ; as it is knowen amongest them. »"<!. 

There as Christes lawe teaches peace, the pope, with his law, assoiles men ^'''' 
for money to gader the people, priests, and other, to fight for his cause. 

There as Cnristes law forbias swearing, the popes law iustifieth swearing, 
and compels men thereto. 

Whereas Christe's law teacheth his pricstcs to be poore, the pope, with his 
lawe, iustifics and maintaines pricstes to be lordes. 

And yet the fift cause is, for the popes lawe that bishops demcn men by, is 
the same vnrightfitll lawe that Christ was demet by of the bishops, with the 
Scribes and with the Pharisies. For right as at that time they gaucn more 
credcns to the two false witnesses that witnessed against Christ, then they deden 
to al the people that witnesseden to his true preaching and his miracles : so the 

(1) Some thing there lackcth in the copy. 


Richard bishops of the popes law geuen more leuen by their lawe to two hcretickes and 

-''• apostates, or two comcn wymen, that wouldcii witnesseden agaynes a man in 

the cause of heresie, than to thousandcs ot peoj^le that were true and good. 

T^'cn ' ^"'l ^"^ ^^^^ 1'°?*^ ^* *^"^ Antichrist, and his law contrary to Christ his law, fully 

I forsake this law, and so I reed all christen men. For thus, by an other point 

The cause of this lawe, they mighten conquere much of this world: for whan they can 

SwL- Kv tl"s ^'^^^^ present a man an hereticke, his goodes shulen be forfet from him 

derby and from his heires, and so might they lightlie haue two or three false witnesses 

forsook ^Q record an heresie against vhat true man, so hem liked. Herefore me thinkes, 

t e pope. ^^^^^ whatsoeuer that I am a christen man I may lawfull, appeale from a false 

dome of the lawe, to he righteously demct by the trouth of Gods law. And if 

this appeale will not serue, I appeale openlie to my Lord Jesu Christ that shall 

deme all the world, for hee I wot well, will not spare for no man to deeme a 

trouth. And therefore I pray God Almightie with Dauid in the Sauter Booke, 

' Deus iudicimn tuum regi da, et iustitiam tuam filio regis : ludicai-e populum 

tuum in iustitia etpauperes tnos in iudicio :' that is, ' O God giue thy iudge- 

ment to the king, and thy iustice to the kings sonne ; to iudge thy people in 

iustice, and thy poore ones in iudgement,' &c. 

A fi-uitful Letter sent to the Nobles and Burgesses of the Parliament, 
by Master William Swinderby. 

lesu, that art both God and man, helpe thy people that louen thy law, and 
make knowen through thy grace thy teaching to all christen men ! Deare sirs, so 
as we seen, by manie tokens, that this world drawes to an end, and all that euer 
haue bene forth-brought of Adam's kind into this world, shulen come togeder at 
domesday, rich and poore, ichone to gene accompt and receiue after his deeds 
ioy or paynen for euermore : therefore make we our werks good, ve while that 
God of mercy abides, and be. ye stable and true to God, and ye shulen see his 
helpe about you. " Constantes estote et videbitis auxilium Domini super vos." 
This land is full of ghostly cowards, in ghostly battaile fewe dare stand. liut 
Christ, the comforter of all that falleth (to that his heart brast for our lone), 
against that fiend, the doughtie duke comforteth vs thus : " Estote fortes in bello, " 
&c. "Be ye strong in battaile," he sales, "and fight ye with the old adder." 
" State in fide, viriliter agite," &c. "Wake ye and pray yee, stond ye in be- 
leeuBj. do ye manly and be ye comfortet, and let all your things be done with 
charitie :" For Saint Paul bids thus in his Epistle, that saw the priuities of God 
in heauen : " Euigilate iusti," &c. " Awake ye that been righteous men, be ye 
stable and vnmoueable : Awake ye quickly and sleepe nought, and stond now 
strongly for God's law." For Saint lohn in the Apocalips sayes : " Blessed be he 
that awakes : for nought to sleepers but to wakers God has behite the crown of 
life." " For the houre is now," as Paul saith to vs, " from sleepe for to arise, 
for hee that earlie awakes to me, he shall finde me, saith Christ himseluen." 
This waking ghostly, is good liuing out of sinne : this sleep betokens that which 
cowardeth a man's heart from ghostly comfort, and to stand in the same, 
thorough a deceaueable sleepe is this that lets a man of the blisse of heauen. 
The fiend makes men bold in sinne and ferd to doe worship to God. Death is a 
likening to a theefe that priuily steales vpon a man that now is riche, and full 
of wele ; anon hee makes him a needle wreche. Therefore, said God, by Saint 
lohn, in the Apocalips, in this wise : " Be thou waking, for if thou wake nought, 
I shall come to thee as a theefe, and thou shalt not wit what houre." "And if 
the husbandman" sales Christ, " wist what houre the theefe shoulde come, hee 
woulde wake andsnffer him not to vndermine his house." Saint Peter therefore 
warneth and saith, " Wake and be yee ware, suffer yee no man," he sayes, 
" as a theefe, but willinglie for Gods loue;" "for it is time," as Peter sales, 
" that dome begin from the house of God." " Ye bene the body of Chi-ist," 
sayes Poule, " that needs must suffer with the head, or els your bodies bene 
but dead and departed from Christ that is the head." " And therefore curset 
be he," sales Poule, "that loues not lesu Christ." And who it is that loues 
him, Christ himselfe telles in the gospel, " Hee that has my bests, and keeps 
them, he it is that loues me." "Cursed he be therefore," says Poule, "that 
doth Christe's workes deceiueably." " Be ye not therefore, ' eays Poule, 


" ashnincd of the true witncsse of Icsu Christ ;" for Christ our God sayes in his inrhnrd 
gospel, " Hi-e that sliaim-s ino and my wordts, him sliall mans soniio asliame wlien ^^ 
hi- sliall foiuL' for to set in the siegu of his Maiestie. And eacli man," he sayes, . .^ 
" tiiat kiinwes me and my wordts before men, in tliis sinefull generation and i.j(.i 

whorish, mans sonne shall knowledge )iim before my father," saves Christ him- '— 

self, " when he shal eome with hys aimgels in the glorie of his father." Sithe ye 
therefore bene Christen men, tliat is to say, Christes men, shew in deede that ye 
bene sneh as ye (hireii shew yon the kings men; "for hit had bene," as Peter 
sayes, " i)etter not to liane knowen the way of tructh, then after the knowing 
thereof to bee conuerted backward there from." We knowen Christ, that is 
trought, we sayn all througli our beliefe, if we turne from him for drede, truely 
we denie the troth. And therefore sith our time is short, (how short no man 
knowes but God,) do we the good tliat wee may to (iods worship, " when we 
liaue time." " lie tnie" (saiesGod) "to the deatli, and you shall haue the crowne 
of life." And thinke on ludius Machabeus, that was (jod's true knight, that 
comforted hartely Ciods true people, to be the followers of iiis law. " And 
geue ye, " hee said, "your lines for the Testament of your fathers And ye 
shullen winne," he said, "great ioy, and a name for euermore." "Was not 
Abraham," hee said, "in lem])tati(m founden true, and was 'arectet vnto him 
euermore to rigliteousnesse ; Iosej)h in time of his anguish hee kept truely Ciods 
best, hee was made, by Gods j)rouidence, lord of Egypt, for his troutli. Phinees 
our fadure louing," hee saith, "the zeale of God, tooke the tcstiunent of euer- 
lasting priesthoode. losue for hee fulfillet the wordeof God wa.s domes man in 
Israel. Cale})h that witnessed in the church, he took therefore the heritage," 
he saith : " I)auid, in his mercie, he gat the siege of the kingdom in worlds. 
Hely for that he loued the zeale of Gods lawe, was taken vppe into heauen. 
Ananie, .\zan>e, and Misael," hee saies, " weren deliueret thoore through true 
beliefe out of the hot flame of fire. True Daniel in his simj)lenes was deliueret Daniel 
from the lyons moutlie. IJethinke ye therefore," he saies, "by generation and ^'- 2-- 
generation, and thou shalt neucr tinde that lie fayled that man that truely 
trusted in him. And therefore dread you nought," he saies, "of the words of 
a sinfull man: his glory is," he saies, " but wornics and tordcs : lice is to day," 
he saith, "y made nie, to morow he saies he is not founden, for he is turned," 
he saves, " into his earth againe, and the mind of him is pcrishet. Sonnes 
therefore" he saies, "be ye comfortet, and die manly in the law : for when ye 
ban done that tliat God commaunds you to doe, ye shulen be glorious in him." 
And Dauid the king saies also on this wise in the Psalter booke : " blesset be Psalms 
they (Lord) that keepen thy law, in worldcs of worldes they shall praise thee." '^^^^- '^^ 
And in Leuiticus saves God thus : " gif that vee wcnden in mine hestes and Lfvit. 
keepen my commaundementes, and done hem, I shal bring forth their fruit, and ' 
trees shall be fulfilled with apples. And ye shalleii cate your bread in fulnesse, 
ye shoulen dwell in your land without drede, I shall giue peace in your costes, 
ye shal sleepe and no man sliall feare you. Euill beastcs I shal done away from 
you, and sword shal not passe your teniies, ye sliuln pursue your enemies, and 
they shall fall before you; fiftie of yours shulne pursue an hundreth ()f heren, 
an hundret of yours, a thousand of theirs: your enemies," he saith, "shulen 
fal through sword, and your sute. I shall" he sayes, " behold you and make 
you to waxe, and yce shall be multipliet : And I shall strength with you my 
couenant, ye shall eat the aldcst, and the new shull come in thereon. And yee 
shuln cast forth the olde, I shall dwell in the midst of you. And I shal wend 
amonges you, and shal he your God, and ye shulne be my people. If that yce 
heare me not, ne done nought all my hestes, but dispisen my law, and my 
domes, and that ye done not the things that of me bene ordcnet, and breaken 
my commaundement.s and my couenant : I shall doe these tilings to you. I shall 
visite you surelv in nede and brenning, which shal dimme your eghenen, and 
shal wast your lines about nought : Ye shulne sowe your sede, for hit shal be 
deuouret of enemies ; I shal put my face against you, and ve shall fall before 
your enemies. .\nd ye shulden be vnderlinges to them that han hatet you, ye 
shall flee, no man pursuing. And if ye will not be hu.xome to me, I shall adde, 
therevnto, thomes, and seuenfold blame. And I shall all to brast the hardnes of 
you, I shall geue the heauen aboneyou as yron, and the earth as brassc. -Vbout 
nought shall your labour be, for the earth shall bring you forth no fruit, ne tree 

(I) Reckoned. 
\ 1)1.. U(. K 


Pudinrd shall geue none apples to you. If that ye wenden against me, and will not 

'•'• heare me, I shall adde hereto, seuen fold woundes for your sinnes. I shall send 

. ^ amoneest you heastes of the field that shall deuour you and your heastes, I shall 

I'iq-i' bring you into a field, and wayes shuln be desart. And if that ye will not re- 

L ceiue lore, but wenden againste me, I will also wenden againste you, and I shall 

smite you seuen sithes for your sinnes. I shall leade in vpon you, sword, ven- 
ger of my couenant : and vpon the fleen into cities, I shal send pestilence in 
the middest of you. So that ten women shall bake their bread in one furnace, 
and yeld them again by waight, and ye shall eat, and not be fillet. If that yee 
heare me not by these tilings, but wenden against me, I shall wend in against 
you in a contrarie woodnesse, and blame yovi with seuen plagues for your sinnes ; 
so that they soulen eat the flesh of your sonnes and of your daughters. And 
insomuch my soule shall loth you, that I shall bring your cities into wildernesse, 
and your sanctuaries I shall make desart, ne I shall not ouer that receiue sweet 
oder of your mouth. And I shall chsperkle your land, and enemies shulen 
maruel thereon, Avhen they shulen inhabite it; I shal disperkel you among 
heathen, and draw my sworde after you." These vengeances and many mo, 
God said should fall on them that breake his bidding, and dispiseth his lawes, 
and his domes. Than sithe Christ become man, and bought vs with his heart 
bloud, and has shewed vs so great loue, and giuen vs an easie law, of the best 
that euer might be made, and to bring vs to the ioy of heauen, and we dispise 
it and louen it nought ; what vengeance will be taken here on, so long as he 
has suffered vs, and so mercifully abidden, when Hee shall come, tliat righteous 
iudge, in the cloudes, lo deme this world? Therefore tume we vs to him, and 
leaue sinne that hee hates, and, ouer all thinges, maintaine his law that he 
confirmed with his death. For other lawes that men had made, should be 
demed, at that day, by the iust law of Christ, and the maker that them made ; 
and then we wonne that long life and that ioy that Poul speaketh of, " that eye 
ne see not, ne eare heard not, ne into mans heart ascended not," the bhsse and 
ioy that God hath ordeined to them that louen him and his lawes. 
The faith- Deare worshipfull sirs, in this world I beseech you for Christes loue, as ye that 
'^" ''''■ I trow louen Gods law and trouth, (that, in these daies, is greatly borne abacke) 
wniiam that they woUen vouchsafe these thinges, that I send you written, to Gods worship, 
Swinder- to let them be shewed in the parliament as your wits can best conceiue, to most 
^^' worship to our God, and to shewing of the trouth and amending of holy church. 

My conclusions and mine appeale, and other true matters of Gods law (gif any 
man can find therin eiTor, falsenesse, or default, prouet by the law of Christ 
clearly to christen mens knowledge), I shall reuoke my wrong conceit, and by 
Gods law be amendet : euer readie to holde with Gods law, openly and priuily, 
with Gods giace, and nothing to hold, teach, or maintaine, that is contrarie to 
his law. 

Of tne process, answers, and condemnation, of this worthy priest, 
and true servant of Christ, William Swinderby, you have heard. 
What afterwards became of him I have not certainly to say or afRrm ; 
whether he in prison died, or whether he escaped their liands, or whe- 
ther he was burned, there is no certain relation made. This remaineth 
out of doubt, that during the life of king Richard II., no great hann 
was done unto him, which was to the year 1399,' at which time, king 
Richard being wrongfully deposed, Henry IV. invaded the kingdom 
of England ; about the beginning of whose reign we read of a certain 
parliament holden at London, mentioned also by Thomas Walden, as 
is above specified, in which parliament it was decreed, that whosoever 
showed themselves to be favourers of WicklifF, who at that time were 
called Lollards, they should be apprehended ; and if so be they did 

(1) The date which our Author here assigns for the death of king Richard is 1401, although he 
gives the received date of the accession of Henry IV. on a subsequent page. The Editor has cor- 
rected this error ; nor would he have noticed it, had not an attack upon Foxe's veracity, in 
" Baddeley's Sure Way," (p. 51) been founded upon it. " Fox," he states, " writes that Swinder- 
by's martyrdom was in 1400, and yet he says," alluding to this erroneous date, " 'that in 1401 no 
great harm was done him.' " The impartial reader can form but one opinion, as to the projriety of 
founding a charge upon that which is obviously an error of the press. — Ed. 


obstinately persevere in that doctrine, they should be delivered over Richard 

unto the bishop of the diocese, and from him sliould be committed to '. — 

the correction of the secular ma<^istrate. This law, (saith the story) '\- !->• 
brou<;I>t a certain priest to punishment the same year, who was burned • 

in Smithfield in the presence of a <,Tcat nund)er. This have wc drawn 
out of a piece of an ohl story, and it is most certain that such a priest 
was l)urncd there for the aiHrmaticm of the true faith, but it doth not 
appear by the story what the priest's name was : notwithstandin;,', by 
divers conjectures, it appeareth unto me that his name was Swindcrby, 
who was forced to recant, before, by the bishop of Lincoln. Whereby 
what is to be conjectured by the premises, let other men judge what 
they think, 1 have nothinij hereof expressly to affirm. This is plain 
for all men to judge, who have here seen and read his story, that if he 
were burned, then the bishops, friars, and priests, who were the causes 
thereof, have a great thing to answer to the Lord, when he shall come 
to judg« the quick and the dead, et seculum per ignem 

5r^e -^torp ant) ^lixttH again.b't ©alter 3cute, a 2?riton.' 

After the story of William Swinderbv, I thought good and conve- 
nient next to adjoin the acts and doings of Walter Brute, his joint 
fellow and companion, being a lay-man and learned, brought up as it 
seemcth in the university of Oxford, being there also graduate ; the 
tractation of whose discourse, as it is something long, so therein may 
appear divers things worthy to be read and considered. First, the 
migluv operation of God's spirit in him. his ripe knowledge, his modest 
simplicity, his valiant constancy, his learned tractations and manifold 
Conflicts sustained against God's enemies. On the contrary part, in his 
adversaries may appear, might against right ; man's authority against 
jdain verity : against which, they, having nothing directly to answer, 
proceed in condemnation of him against whom they are able to bring 
forth no confutation.^ The chief occasion that seemed to stir up the 
heart and zeal of this ^Valte^ against the pope, was the impudent 
pardons and indulgences of pope Urban, granted to Henry Spencer, 
bishop of Norwich, to fight against pope Clement, mentioned before, 
vol. ii. p. 80-5 : secondly, the wrongful condemnation of the articles 
and conclusions of William Swindcrby ; the whole order whereof, in 
the process here following, more plainly may appear. 

The Process had by John, Bishop of Hereford, against Walter Brute, 
a Lay-man and learned, of the Diocese of Hereford, touching the 
cause of Heresy, as they call it ; set forward by the way of the 
Bishop's Office, &c., at the Instruction of certain Faithful Chris- 
tians, as he termed them, but in deed, cruel and false Promoters. 

In the name of God, Amen: To all manner of faithful christian people, that Murder- 
sliall see and hear this our present process, John, by the surterance of God, '"K hearts 
bishop of Hereford, sendcth precting and continual charity in the Lord. Wc ("[der^ 
would that you all should know, that of late, by many faithful christian people, lovins 
and snccially zealous followers of the catholic faith, it was lamentably done us ^°'''''- 
to uJiuerstand, by way of complaint, that a certain son of ours going out of kind, 

(1) The itory of Waiter Unite ii r.ot related in the firitt Edition. Ed. IS70, p. J6C. Ed. Io7C, 
ji. 4S7. Ed i'JM, p 475. E<1. liM, p. 4Sf) E<t. 16S4, vol. i. p 542. 

(2) Ex registro Epis Hereford. 






named Walter Brute, a lay person, learned, of our diocese, hath, under a cloaked 
show of holiness, damnably seduced the people ; and, setting behind him the 
fear of God, doth seduce them as much as he can, from day to day ; informing 
and teaching openly and privily as well the nobles as the commons, in certain 
conclusions heretical, schismatical, and erroneous, and also heretofore con- 
demned : and they have also probably exhibited against the same Walter, the 
articles under-written, in manner and form as followeth. 



Articles exhibited and denounced to the Bishop, against Waltci 
Brute, by certain Priests and Friars. 

Reverend father and lord ! we, the faithful people of Christ, and zealous 
lovers of the catliolic faith, and also your humble and devout children, do 
minister and exhibit to yoiu" reverend fatherhood the articles under-written, 
touching the catholic faith, contrary and against malicious persons, and detrac- 
tors of the same faith, and the determinations of holy mother church ; and 
namely against the child of Belial, one Walter Bi-ute, a false teacher and 
seducer amongst the people : humbly beseeching, that you would vouchsafe 
to have regard to the connection of the enormities under-written, according vmto 
the canonical constitutions, even as to your office pastoral doth lie and belong. 

Imprimis, We do give and exhibit, and intend to prove, that the same Walter 
Brute, being unmindful of his salvation, hath been, by many and divers faithful 
christian people, sundry times accused of the cursedness of heresy, as by the 
swift report, slander, and rumour of the people, proceeding before the most 
reverend father and lord, lord William archbishop of Canterbury, and also before 
the reverend father and lord, lord John, late bishop of Hereford, your predeces- 
sor, and now bishop of St. Asaph, hath been testified ; and also hath been many 
and divers times cited to answer unto articles by him against the catholic faith 
avouched, and openly and publicly taught. But he, in this matter of heretical 
cursedness (so grievously and shamefully spoken of), hath never regarded to 
purge his innocency ; but lurkingly, and running into corners, hath many and 
sundry years laboured to advance things erroneous and schismatical, and also 
heresies, and to imprint them in the hearts of faithful people. 

Item, The aforesaid Walter Brute hath openly, publicly, and notoriously, 
avouched, and commonly said and taught, and stubbornly affirmed, that every 
christian man, yea, and woman, being without sin, may make the body of Christ 
as well as the priest. 

Item, The same Walter hath notoriously, openly, and publicly, avouched and 
taught, that in the sacrament of the altar there is not the very body, but a sign 
and a memorial only. 

Item, The aforesaid Walter hath said commonly, and avouched, and also 
hath laboured to infonn men and companies, that no man is bound to give tithes 
or oblations ; and if any man will needs give, he may give his tithes and obla- 
tions to whom he will, excluding thereby their curates. 

Item, That such as do preach and prefer croised matters, and pardons (granted 
by the high bishop to them that helped the purpose of the reverend father lord 
Henry, by the grace of God, bishop of Norwich, when he took his journey upon 
him to fight for the holy father the pope), are schismatics and heretics ; and 
that the pope cannot grant such manner of pardons. 

Item, The said Walter hath oftentimes said, and commonly avouched, that 
the pope is Antichrist, and a seducer of the people, and utterly against the law 
and life of Christ. 

Item, Whereas, of late your reverence did, at the instance of faithful christian 
people, proceed in form of law against William Swinderby ; and that the said 
William Swinderby had, unto the said articles objected against him, given up 
his answers in writing, containing in them errors, schisms, and heresies, even as 
you, with the mature counsel of masters and doctors in divinity, and other 
faculties, have determined and given sentence, and have pronounced the same 
William Swinderby to be a heretic and a schismatic, and an erroneous teacher 
of the people : nevertheless the aforenamed Walter hath openly, publicly, and 
notoriously, said, avouched, and stubbornly affirmed, that the said William's 
answers (whereof notice hath been given before) afe good, righteous, and not 


abk' to be convinci'il, ill thoy contain no error ; and that your sciiti'iite Richard 

aforesaid, given against the same William, is evil, false, and iiniust ; and that ^^• 

your assistants have wickedly, naughtily, j)erversely, and unjustly, condenuied . .y 

the answers aforesaid. I'.i'Jl 
Now, immediately thereupon, those same faithful christian people have in- 

stantly recjuired, that we would vouchsafe tliat other articles given by the same ''f't^r- 
faithful cnristians against tlie said William Swinderby,' together with the t,\,^fy 
writings and answers of the same William thereunto, should be admitted against promo- 
Walter IJrute, mentioned of in this matter of cursed heresy ; of which articlea '*^"' 
and answers, the tenor doth follow in these words. 

Imprimis, That one William Swindcrbv, pretending himself priest, was of 
certain articles and conclusions erroneous, false, schismatical, and heretical, by 
him preached, at divers places and times, before a great uudtitude of i'aithful 
christians juilicially convinced ; and the same articles and conclusions did he, 
enforced by necessity of law, revoke and abjure, some as heretical, and others 
as erroneous and false ; and for such did he avouch them ever afterwards, pro- 
mising so to take and believe them, and that from thenceforth he would openly 
or privily preach, teach, or attirm none of them ; nor that he should make ser- 
mon or preach within your diocese, without license demanded and obtained. 
And in case he should to the contrary presume, by preaching or avouching, 
that then he should be subject to the severity of the canons, even as he judicially 
sware, accordingly as the law enforced. Also the conclusions abjured by the 
said Williani do follow, and are these. 

I. Imprimis, That men, by the rule of charity, may demand debts, but by no 
means imprison any man for debts; and that the party so imprisoning a bodv, 
is exconununicated. 

II. Item, That if the parishioners shall know their curate to be incontinent 
and naughtv, they ought to withdraw from him their tithes, &c. 

III. Item, That tithes are mere alms; and in case that the curates shall be 
ill, they may be lawfully bestowed upon others by the temporal owners, &c. 

IV. Item, That an evil curate to excommunicate any under his jurisdiction 
for withholding of tithes, is naught else, &c. 

V. Item, That no man may excommunicate any body, exce])t that first 
he know him excommunicate of God ; neither do those that communicate 
with such a one, incur the sentence of excommunication by any manner of 

V'l. Item, That every priest may absolve every sinner being contrite, and is 
bound to preach the gospel to the people, notwithstanding the prohibition of 
tlie bishops. 

VII. Item, That a priest, receiving by bargin any thing of yearly annuity, is, 
in so doing, a schismatic, and excommunicate. 

VIII. Item, He doth assuredly believe, as he avouchcth, that every priest 
being in deadly sin, if he dispose himself to make the body of Christ, doth 
rather commit idolatry, than make Christ's body. 

IX. Item, That no priest doth enter into any house, but to h-Midle ill the 
wife, the daughter, or the maid, and therefore, &c. 

X. Item, That the child is not rightly baptized, if the priest, &c. 

XI. Item, That no manner of person if he live against God's law, &c. 

XII. Item, The same William, against the things premised, and his revoca- 
tion and abjuration (not to his heart converting, but from evil to worse per- 
verting), dul turn aside into our diocese, where, ruiming to and fro in divers 
places, he hath of his own rash head presumed to preach, or rather to per- 
vert, Src. 

XIII. Item, After that wo liad hoard divers rumours, and slanders of very 
many, we directed divers nmnitions and commandments comminatory, to be 
sent abroad by our commissaries to sundry places of our diocese, that no per- 
son, of what estate, degree, or condition soever he were, should presume to 
preach or to teach the sacred Scripture to the peopl?, in places holy or profane, 
within our diocese, &c. 

(1) Thc^c concluslont and articles of William Swinderby here repeated, and objected to Walter 
Brute, arc to bo found before, p. 110. 







A peril- 
ous door 
to open. 

XIV. Item, That the same sort of monitions, inhibitions, and precepts con- 
firmed by our seal, came to the true and undoubted knowledge of the said 

XV. Item, The same William, unmindful of his own salvation, hath since, 
and against those monitions, inhibitions, and precepts, and (that which is more 
abominable to be spoken) in contempt of the high bishop's dignity, and to the 
slander and offence of many people, presumed, in divers places of our said dio- 
cese, to preach, or rather to pervert, and to teach, the forementioned, and 
other heretical, erroneous, and schismatical devices. 

XVI. Item, The same William, in preaching to the people on Monday, to 
wit, the first of August, in the year of our Lord 1390, in the church of Whit- 
ney, in our diocese, held and affirmed : that no prelate of the world, of what 
state, pre-eminence, or degree soever he were, having cure of souls and being 
in deadly sin, &c. 

XVII. Item, The same William in many places said and affirmed, in the 
presence of many faithful christian people, after the sacramental words uttered 
by the priest, having the intent to consecrate, there is not made the very body 
of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. 

XVIII. Item, That accidents cannot be in the sacrament of the altar with- 
out their subject; and that there remaineth material bread ' Concomitanter,' 
with the body of Christ in the sacrament. 

XIX. Item, That a priest being in deadly sin, cannot, by the power of the 
sacramental words, make the body of Christ. 

XX. Item, That all priests are of like power in all points, notwithstanding 
that some of them are, in this world, of higher dignity, degree, or pre-emi- 

XXI. Item, That contrition only putteth away sin, if a man shall be duly 
contrite ; and that all vocal confession and exercise is superfluous, and not re- 
quisite, of necessity, to salvation. 

XXII. Item, That inferior curates have not their power of binding and 
loosing immediately from the pope or bishop, but immediately from Christ, 

XXIII. Item, That the pope cannot grant such kind of annual pardons, 
because there shall not be so many years to the day of judgment, as are con- 
tained in the pope's bulls or pardons. Whereby it followeth, that pardons are 
not so much worth as they are noised and praised to be. 

XXIV. Item, That it is not in the pope's power to grant to any penitent 
body, forgiveness of the pain, or of the trespass. 

XXV. Item, That one giving his alms to any body, who, as hejudgeth, hath 
no need thereof, doth sin in so giving, &c. 

XXVI. Item, That it stands not in the power of any prelate, of what private 
religion soever he be, to give, by letters, benefits of their order ; neither do such 
kind of benefits given, profit them to whom they be given for the salvation of 

XXVII. Item, That the same WiUiam, unmindful of his own salvation, hath 
many times and often resorted to a certain desert wood called Derwalswood, of 
our diocese, and there, in a certain unhallowed chapel (nay, a profane cottage), 
hath presumed of his own proper rashness, to celebrate, &c. 

XXVIII. Item, The same William hath also presumed to do the like things 
in a certain profane chapel, situate in the park of Newton, nigh to the town of 
Leyntwardyn, in the same our diocese. 

Walter Which things being done, the same faithful christian people, and especially 

mote^r^^"" ^^^ Walter Pride, the penitentiary of our cathedral church of Hereford, per- 
rather a sonally appearing before us, sitting in our judgment seat in the parish church 
proud of Whiteborne of our diocese, brought forth and exhibited two public instru- 
promo er. ^igj^^g against the same Walter Brute, in the case of cursed heresy aforesaid, of 
which instruments here follow the tenor and the articles. 

fault for- 

The first Instrument exhibited by certain Canons of Hereford against 
Walter Brute. 
In the name of God, Amen. Be it evidently known to all persons, by this 
present public instrument, that in the j'ear from the incarnation, after the course 


and coinputatiun of the churcli of England, 1391, the indiction fifteen of the hichard 
pontifical orticc of our most lioly father and lord in Ch.rist, lord Honifaco IX. ^^• 
hy (iod's wisdom pope, the second year, the fifteenth day of the month of ~T ij 
()clol)er, in the dwelling-house of tlie worshipful man. Master John Gode- i./qi 

nioston, canon of tiie cathedral churcii of Hereford, in tlie presence of me, the ■-- " 

puhlic notary underwritten, and of witnesses subscrihed, Walter Brute a lay- Bishop of 
man, learned, of Hereford diocese, personally appearing, said, avouched, and „,J^'yg°ly 
stifHy maintained, that the said bishop of Hereford, and assistants who were with cou- 
him the third day of the aforesaid month of Octob'.-r, theyear of our Lord afore- '^^^^^ 
said, in the church of Hereford, did naughtily, wickedly, jjervcrBely, and un- articles of 
justly, comlemn the answers of Sir William Swinderbv, chaplain, given bv the ^winder 
same Sir William to the sanu» lord bishop in writing, and also the articles ^' 
ministered by the same Sir William. 

And, furthermore, he said, held, and avouched, that the same conclusions 
given by the same Sir William, even as they were given, are true and catholic. 

Item, As touching the matters ohject^'d against him by them that stood by, M.-itiem 
concerning the sacranuMit of the altar; he said, that after the sacramental words ohjccted 
there doth remain very bread, and the substance thereof after the consecration \vaj{"r' 
of the body of Christ ; and that there do not remain accidents without sub- Urute. 
stance or subject after the consecration of the body of Christ. And as touching 
this matter, the doctors hold divers opinions. 

Furthermore, as concerning the pope, he said, held and avouched, that he is The pope 
the very Antichrist ; because that in life and manners he is contrary to the ^"''" 
laws, doctrines, and deeds, of Christ our Lord. 

All and ever}' of these things were done, even as they be above-written and 
rehearsed in the year of our Lord, pontifical office, month, day, and place afore- 
said, at supper time of the day aforeiumied ; then and there being present the Wit- 
worshipful and discreet men, Sir Walter Ramsbury, chief chaunter of the said "«>«*-» 
cathedral church of Hereford, Roger Hoore, canon of the same church, Walter hf,'"."* 
Wall, chaphun of the said church of Hereford (being a vicar of the choral), and 
certain other worthy witnesses of credit, that were specially called and desired 
to the premises.' 

And I, Richard Lee, wheeler, clerk of Worcester, being a public notary by Richard 
the authority apostolic, was personally present at all and singular the premises, ^f^ ^^- 
whilst that, as is before rehearsed, they were done and a doing in the year of ^^Uo"" 
our Lord, l.'J'Jl ; j)ontifical office, month, day, place, and the hour aforesaid: hereof, 
and I did see, write, and hear, all and singular those things thus to be done, 
and have reduced them into this public manner and form ; and, being desired 
*rv\y to testify the premises, have sealed the said instrument made hereupon, 
with mine accustomed seal and name. 

Fonn of the second Instrument. 

In the name of God, Amen. Be it plainly known to all persons, by this pre- 
sent public instrument, that in the year from the incarnation of the I/ord, aAer 
the course and computation of the church of England, 1391, the indiction 
fifteen, in the third year of the pontifical office of the most holy father in 
Christ and our lord, lord Boniface, pope, by the jjrovidence of God, the ninth, 
and in the nineteenth day of the month of January ; Walter Bnite, layman, of Afattcrs 
Hereford diocese, personally appearing before the reverend father in Christ ""J. <"<">- 
and lord, lord John, by God's grace bishop of Hereford, in the presence of me, Jn?n!s"* 
being a public notary, and one of the witnesses mider-written, did say, hold, tired 
publish, and affirm, the conclusions hereafter written : that is to say, that chris- "^.*5"'" 
tian people are not bound to pay tithes either by the law of Moses, or by the Brute, 
law of Clirist. 

Item, That it is not lawful for Christians, for any cause in any case, to swear 
by the Creator, neither by the creature.* 

Item, He confesseth openly and of his own accord,' that within the s unc 
month of Januarj*, he diid eat, drink, and communicate with William Swin- 

(11 F.x Rcp^t. Hcrefbrd. 

(2) This concluiion ncemeth to \te falsely collected, a» were I'cfore the article! of Willjam 
£nindcrby. (3) This conclusion is net rightly qaihered. 







Come, re- 
and writer 
of this 

derby, not being ignorant of tbe sentence of tbe said reverend fatber, wbereby 
tbe same William Swinderby was pronounced a beretic, scbismatic, and a false 
seducer of tbe connnon people ; wbicb conclusions tbe same reverend tatber 
caused to be written, and in writing to be delivered to tbe same Walter, wbicb 
wben be bad seen and read, be said also tbat be did maintain and justify tbem 
according to tbe laws aforesaid. Tbese tilings were done in tbe chamber of tbe 
said bisbop of Hereford, at bis manor of Wbiteborne of tbe said diocese of 
Hereford : tbere being tben present tbe same bisbop abovesaid. Master Rey- 
nold, of Wolston, canon of Hereford ; Sir Philip Dilesk, parson of tbe parish 
church of Blamurin ; Thomas Guildefeld, parson of tbe church of Englishby- 
knore ; John Cresset, parson of tbe church of Wbiteborne ; and Thomas Walle- 
wayne, household servant ; for witnesses especially called and desried to the 
premises, of the diocese of Hereford and St. Asaph. 

And I, Benedict Come, clerk of the diocese of St. Asaph, public notary, by tlie 
apostolic authority of the diocese of St. Asaph, was personally present, together 
with tbe witnesses before named, at all and singidar tJiese and other things here 
premised, whilst they were so done and a doing ; and did see, bear, and write 
those things so to be done, as is before-mentioned ; and did write the same, and 
reduce them into this public form ; and with my wonted and accustomed seal and 
name have sealed it, being desired and required tndy to testify tbe premises. 

At last, tbe aforesaid Walter Biiite did present and cause to be presented to 
us (at divers places and times, assigned by us to the same Walter, to answer to 
the former conclusions and articles) divers scrolls of paper, written witli his own 

fjroper hand, for his answers to tbe same articles and conclusions above written ; 
le, partly appearing by bis own self, before us sitting in our judgment seat, and 
partly by his messengers, specially appointed to tbat purpose ; of which scrolls, 
the tenors do follow in order v/ord by word, and be on this manner. 


No writer 
or doctor 
his error, 
tlie Scrip- 
ture only 
Error in 
the doc- 
tors, and 

Certain Exhibits of Walter Brute, in writing, presented to the Bishop 
for his Defence. 

In the name of the Fatber, and of the Son, and of tbe Holy Ghost, Amen. 
I Walter Brute, sinner, lay-man, husbandman, and a Christian (having my off- 
spring of tbe Britons, both by my father's and mother's side), of the Britons 
have been accused to the bisbop of Hereford, tbat I did err in many matters 
concerning tbe catlrolic christian faith, by whom I am required tbat I shoidd 
write an answer in Latin to all those matters ; whose desire I will satisfy to my 
power, protesting first of all, before God and before all the world, tbat like as 
it is not my mind, through God's grace, to refuse the known tnith, for any re- 
ward, greater or smaller, yea, be it never so big, nor yet for the fear of any tem- 
poral punishment ; even so it is not my mind to maintain any erroneous doctrine 
for any commodity's sake. And, if any man, of what state, sect, or condition 
soever he be, will show me tbat I err in my writings or sayings, by tbe authority 
of the sacred Scripture, or by probable reason grounded on the sacred Scrip- 
ture, I will humbly and gladly receive his information. But, as for the bare 
words of any teacher, Christ only excepted, I will not simply believe, except he 
shall be able to establish tbem by tbe tnith of experience, or of tbe Scripture ; 
because tbat in the holy apostles elected by Christ, there bath been found error 
by tbe testimony of the holy Scripture, because that Paul himself doth confess 
tbat he rebuked Peter, for tbat be was worthy to be rebuked [Gal. ii.] Tbere 
have been errors foimd in tbe holy doctors, tbat have been before us, as they 
themselves confess of themselves. And oftentimes it falletb out, tbat tbere is 
error found in the teachers in our age, who are of contrary opinions among 
themselves ; and some of tbem do sometimes deteiTnine one thing for truth, 
and others do condemn tbe self-same thing to be heresy and error. Which pro- 
testation premised, I will here place two suppositions or cases for a ground and 
a foundation of all things that I shall say ; out of which I would gather two 
probable conclusions established upon tbe same, and upon tbe sacred Scripture. 
By which conclusions, wben they shall be declared after my manner and fashion, 
it shall plainly appear what my opinion and judgment is concerning all matters 
that I am accused of. But because I am ignorant and unlearned, I will get me 


under the mighty defences of the Lord : () Lord! I will remember tliiiic only Ruhard 
righteousness. ^' 

God tlie Father Almighty uncreate, the maker of heaven and earth, hath ^ j^ 

sent his Son, that was everlastingly begotten, into this world, that he should be x-y\\ 
incarnated for the salvation and redemption of mankind ; who was conceived by 

the Holy ("ihost, everlastingly proceeding from the Father and the Son, and was "'■"<»^ 
born of Mary the virgin, to the end that we might be born anew. He suffered "icuseth 
p.'ission under I'ontius I'ilate for our sins, laying down his life for us, that we his u-arn- 
ahould lay down our lite for our brethren. He was crucified, that we should be '">'• 
crucified to the world, and the world to us. He was dead, that he might redeem or suppo- 
us from death, by purchiising for us forgiveness of sins. He was buried, that s't'on- 
we, being buried together with him into death by baptism, and that we, dead 
to sins, should live to righteousiu'ss. He descended iivto hell, thereby delivering 
man from tliraklom and from the bondage of the devil, and restoring him to 
his inheritance which he lost by sin. 'I'he third day he rose from the dead, 
through the glory of the Father, that we also should walk in newness of life. He 
asceiuled up to the heavens, to which nobody hath ascended, saving he that 
descended from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven. He sitteth 
at the right haiul of God the Father Almighty, until his enemies be made his 
footstool ; he being, in very deed, so much better than the angels, as he hath 
obtained by inheritance a more excellent name than they. From whence he 
shall come to judge the quick and the dead, according to their works, because 
tlie Father hath given all judgment to the Son. In whose terrible judgment 
we shall rise again, and shall all of us stand before his judgment seat; and 
receive joy as well bodily as spiritually, for ever to endure, if we be of the sheep 
placed at the right haiul; or else punishment both of body and soul, if we shall 
be foimd amongst goats, placed on the left hand, &c. 

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, very God and very man, a king for ever, by Second 
establishing an everlasting kingdom, 'breaking to powder all the kingdoms of •^'|**°'' 
the world' [Daniel ii.], 'a priest for ever, atler the order of Melchisedec,' 
whereby also he is able evemiore to save such as by him come unto (iod, and 
always liveth to entreat for us' [Heb. vii.] : he, ' offering one sacrifice for our 
sins, hath made perfect for ever by one oblation those that be sanctified' [Heb. 
X.] Being the \visdom that cannot be deceived, and the truth that cannot be 
uttered, he hath in this world taught the will of the Godhead of his Father, 
which will, he hath in work fulfilled, to the intent that he might faitht\illy 
instruct us, and hath given the law of charity, to be of his faithful peoi)le 
obser^•ed ; which he hath written in the hearts and minds of the faithful with 
the finger of God, where is the Spirit of God, searching the inward secrets of 
the (lodhead. Wherefore his doctrine must be observed above all other doc- 
trines, whether they be of angels or of men, because that he could not, nor 
would not err in his teaching. But in men's doctrine there chanceth oftentimes 
to be error ; and therefore we must forsake their doctrines, if cloakedly or 
expressly they be repugnant to the doctrine of Christ. Men's doctriiu-s being 
made for the people's profit, must be allowed and observed, so that they be 
grounded ujion Christ's doctrine, or at least be not repugnant to his words. 

If the high bishop of Rome, calling himself the servant of the servants of First con- 
God, and the chief vicar of Christ in this world, do make and maintain many ^!"''°^'; 
laws contrary to the gospel of Jesu Christ, then is he of those that have come »„ idol of 
in Christ's name, saying, I am Christ, and have seduced many a one, by the Jesola- 
testimony of our Saviour in Matt. xxiv. ; and the idol of desolation sitting in J|°,g'in'' 
the temple of (iod, and tiking away from him the continual sacrifice for a time, the tein- 
times, and half a time, which idol nuist be revealed to the christian people, by j'.''' "^ 
the testimony of Daniel, whereof Christ speaketh in the gospel ; ' When ye i,- 1,1, 
shall see the abomination of desolation that was told of by Daniel the prophet, laws be 
standing in the holy place, let him that rcadefh understand;' and he is the [oq™^ 
pestiferous mountain infecting the whole universal earth, as witnesseth Jeremy, he is the 
chapter li., and not the head of Christ's body. ' For the ancient person in years, i'*^"'' 
and horw)urable in reverence, he is the head : and the prophet teaching lies is mountain 
the tail,' as Isaiah allcgeth, chapter ix. ; and he is that wicked and sinful cap- infcctinK 
tain of Israel, whose foreanpointed day of iniquity is conu> in time of iniquity, '.^^t^ 
who shall take away Cidanm, and take away the crown, [Ezek. xxi.] to whom The pope 
it was said, ' Forasmuch as thy heart was exalted, and thou didst say, I am a ihc sinful 





captain of 
spoken of 
by Eze- 
christ de- 
The pope 
an idle 
The pope 
the beast 
like the 
out of the 


the pope. 


and nine- 
ty days 

Fall of 

God, and sittest in the seat of God, in the heart of the sea, seeing thou art a 
man and not God, and liast given thine heart, as if it were the heart of God ; 
therefore, behold I will bring upon thee the most strong and mighty strangers 
of the nations, and they shall draw their swords upon the beauty of thy wisdom, 
and shall defile the commandments, and kill thee, and pidl thee out ; and thou 
shalt die in the destruction of the slain.' And it foUoweth, ' In the multi- 
tude of thine iniquities, and of the iniquities of thy merchandise, thou hast 
defiled thy sanctification. I will therefore bring forth a fire from the midst of 
the whole earth, and will make thee as ashes upon earth. Thou art become 
nothing, and never shalt thou be any more,' [Ezek. xxviii.] Furthermore, he 
is the ' idle shepherd, forsaking his flock, having a sword on his arm, and another 
swoi-d in his right eye ' [Zech. xi.], and who, ' sitting in the temple of God, doth 
advance himself above all that is called God, or whatsoever is worshipped,' by 
the testimony of Paul to the Thessalonians, second epistle, chap. iii. : ' And in 
the defection or falling away shall the man of sin be revealed, whom the Lord 
Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth.' ' For every kingdom divided 
in itself shall be brought to desolation.' He is also, besides, 'the beast ascend- 
ing up out of the earth, having two horns like unto a lamb, but he speaketh 
like a di'agon;' and as ' the cruel beast ascending up out of the sea, whose 
power shall continue forty and two months.' He worketh the things that he 
hath given to the image of the beast. ' And he compelled small and great, 
rich and poor, free-men and bond-slaves, to worship the beast, and to take his 
mark in their forehead or their hands,' [Apoc. xiii.] And thus, by the testi- 
mony of all these places, is he the chief Antichrist upon the earth, and must 
be slain with the sword of God's word, and cast, with the dragon, the cruel 
beast, and the false prophet that hath seduced the earth, into the lake of fire 
and brimstone to be tormented world without end. 

If the city of Rome do allow his traditions, and do disallow Christ's holy com- 
mandments and Christ's doctrine, that it may confirm his traditions, then is she 
' Babylon the great,' or ' the daughter of Babylon,' and ' the great whore sitting 
upon many waters,' with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, 
and the inhabitants of the earth are become drunken with the wine of her harlotry, 
lying open to lewdness ; with whose spiritual whoredom, enchantments, witch- 
crafts, and Simon Magus merchandises, the whole round world is infected and 
seduced ; saying in her heart, ' I sit as a queen, and widow I am not, neither shall 
I see sorrow and mourning.' Yet is she ignorant that within a little while shall 
come the day of her destruction and niin by the testimony of the Apocalypse, 
chap, xvii., because that from the time that the continual sacrifice was taken away, 
and the abomination of desolation placed, there be passed twelve hundred and 
ninety days, by the testimony of Daniel [chap, xii.] ; and the chronicles added 
do agree to the same. And the holy city also hath been trodden under foot of 
the heathen for forty-two months, and the woman was nourished up in the 
wilderness (unto which she fled for fear of the face of the serpent) during 
twelve hundred and sixty days, or else for a time, times, and half a time, which 
is all one. All these things be manifest by the testimony of the Apocalypse, 
and the chronicles thereto agreeing. And, as concerning the fall of Babylon 
aforesaid, it is manifest in the Apocalypse [chap, xiv.], where it is said, ' In one 
day shall her plagues come, death, lamentation, and famine, and she shall be 
burned with fire. For, strong is the Lord, which shall judge her.' And again, 
' Babylon, that great city, is fallen, which hath made all nations to drink of the 
wine of her whoredom.' And thirdly, ' One mighty angel took up a mill-stone, 
that was a very great one, and did cast it into the sea, saying. With such a 
violence as this is, shall that great city Babylon be overthrown, and shall no 
more be found. For her merchants were the princes of the earth, and with her 
witchcraft all nations have gone astray, and in her is there found the blood of 
the saints and prophets.' And of her destruction speaketh Isaiah [chap, 
xiii.] : ' And Babylon, that glorious city, being so noble amongst kingdoms in 
the pride of the Chaldeans, it shall be that, like as the Lord did overturn Sodom 
and Gomorrah upside down, it shall never more be inhabited, nor have the 
foundation laid in any age, from generation to generation.' Jeremy [chap, li.], 
saith, * Your mother that hath borne you is brought to very great confusion, 
and made even with the ground.' And again, ' The Lord hath devised and 
done as he hath spoken against the inhabiters of Babylon, which dwell richly 


in their treasures upon many watiTs ; thine end is come." And thirdly, Htchara 
' DrouEjht shall fall upon her waters, and they shall begin to be dry : for it is '' 
a land of graven images, and boasteth in her prodigious wonders: it shall A.I) 
never more be inhabited, neither be builded up in any age or generation. \:vj\ 

Verilv even Jis (Jod hath subverted Sodom and (iomorrah with their calves.' 

I'ardon me, I bcseeeh you, though I be not plentiful in pleasant words ; 
for if I siiould run after the course of this wicked world, and should please 
men, I should nut be Christ's ser^-ant. And, because I am a poor man, and 
neither have, nor can have, notaries hired to testify of these my writings, I call 
upon Christ to be my witness, who knoweth the inward secrets of my heart, 
that I an» ready to declare the things that I have written after my fashion, to 
the i)rotit of all christian people, and to the hurt of no man living, and am 
ready to be refonnod, if any man will show me where I have erred ; being 
ready, also (miserable sinner though I be), to suffer for the confession of the 
name of Christ and of his doctrine, as much as shall ])Iease him by his grace 
and love to assist me, a miserable sinner. In witness of all these things I have 
to this writing set the seal of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which I 
beseech him to imprint u])on my forehead, and to take from me all manner of 
mark of Antichrist. Amen. 

Those two suppositions (as tlicy arc termed in the schools) written 
by Walter Brute, and exhibited unto the bishoj), although thev con- 
tained matter sutficient cither to satisfy the bishoj), if he hail been 
disposed to learn, or else to have provoked him to reply a^\'iin, if his 
knowledge therein had been better than his, yet could they neither 
of them work efFcct in him. But he, receiving and perusing the 
same, when he neither could contlite that which was said, nor would 
reply nor answer by learning to that which was truth, finding other 
byc-cavillations, said. That this his wiiting was too short and obscure ; 
and therefore reijuircd him to write upon the same again more plainly 
and more at large. Whereupon the said Master Walter, satisfying 
the bishop's request, and ready to give to every one an account of 
his faith, in a more ample tractation reneweth his matter again before 
declared, writing to the bishop in words and form as followeth. 

Another Declaration of the same Matter, after a more ample Trac- 
tation, exhibited by Walter Brute to the Bishop 

Reverend father, forasmuch as it seemeth to you that my motion, in my two 
suppositions or cases, and in my two conclusions, is too short and somewhat 
dark, I will gladly now satisfy your desire, according to my small learning, by 
declaring the same conclusions ; in opening whereof, it shall plainly appear, 
what I do judge in all matters that I am accused of to your reverence, desiring 
you, first of all, that your discretion would not believe that I do enterprize of 
any presumption to handle the secrets of the Scriptures, which the ^olv, and 
just, and wise doctors, have left unexpounded. It is not unknown to many, 
that I am in all points far inferior to them, whose hoUncss of life and profound- 
ness in knowledge are manifold ways allowed. Hut as for mine ignorance and Thcythnt 
multitude of sins, they are to myself and others sufficiently known ; wherefore sohumbly 
I judge not myself worthy to unloose or carrv their shoes after them. Do you IsJem-"'^ 
therefore no otherwise deem of me, than I do of mine own self. But if you sWvcs, 
shall find any goodness in my writings, ascribe it to God only, who, according '"'' ^° 
to the multitude of his mercy, doth sometimes reveal those things to idiots and carelessly 
sinners, which are hidden from the holy and wise, according to this saving, " I continue, 
will praise and confess thee, O Father ! for that thou hast hidden these thing? qI^^ 
from the wise and prudent, and hast disclosed them to the little ones ; even so, 
O Father! because it hath thus pleased thee." .\nd in another place : " I am 
come to judgment into this worUi, that they which see not, may see; and that 
they v.hich see, may be made blind. " And Paul saith, "That God hath chosen 


Richard the Weak tilings of the world, to confound the mighty ; that no man shall boast 
^^- in himself, but that all men should give the honour to God." 

~ . T^ It was commanded to Isaiah [chap, vi.], bearing the type of Christ ; " Go, 

,oqi' ^^^ say to this people: Hear ye with your hearing, and do not understand? 

1_ Behold ye the vision, and yet know ye not the thing that ye see ? Make blind 

the heart of this people, and make dulhtheir ears, and shut their eyes, lest that 
perchance with their eyes they should see, and with their ears they should hear, 
and with their hearts they should understand, and be converted, and I should 
heal them. And I said, How long. Lord ? And he said, Until that the cities 
be made desolate without inhabitants, and the house without any person within 
it." Also in Isaiah [chap, xix.], thus it is written : " And the multitude of all 
nations which shall fight against Ariel, and all persons that have warred, and 
besieged, and prevailed against it, shall be as a dream that appeareth in the 
night, and as the hungry person dreameth that he eateth, but when he shall 
awake out of sleep, his soul is empty. And like as the hungry person dreameth 
that he eateth, and yet after that he shall awake he is still weary and thirsty, 
and his soul void of nourishment ; even so shall it be with the multitude of all 
nations that have fought against the mount Sion. Be you amazed, and have 
great wonder ; reel ye to and fro, and stagger ye ; be ye dnmken, and not with 
■wine ; stagger, but not through dnmkennesss ; for the Lord hath mingled for 
you the spirit of drowsiness. He shall shut your eyes, he shall cover your 
prophets and princes that see visions. And a vision shall be to you altogether 
like the words of a sealed book, which when he shall give to one that is learned, 
he shall say, Read here, and he shall answer, I cannot, for it is sealed. And 
the book shall be given to one that is unlearned, and knoweth not his letters, 
and it shall be said unto him, Read ; and he shall answer, I know not the letters, 
* I am unlearned. Wherefore the Lord saith, Forasmuch as this people draweth 

nigh me with their mouths, and glorifieth me with their lips, but their hearts 
are far from me, and they have rather feared the commandments of men, and 
have cleaved to their doctrines : behold, therefore, I will add besides, and bring 
such a muse and marvel upon this people as shall make men amazed with mar- 
velling. For wisdom shall perish from their wise men, and the understanding 
of the prudent persons shall be hidden." [Isaiah xxix.] And soon after it 
foUoweth in the same place : " Yet a little while and Libanus shall be turned 
into Carmel, and Carmel counted for a copse or grove ; ' and in the same day 
shall the deaf folks hear the word of this book, and the eyes of the blind 
(changed from darkness and blindness) shall see." 

Nabuchadnezzar inquiring of Daniel, said, " Thinkest thou that thou canst 
truly declare me the dream that I have seen, and the meaning thereof?" And 
Daniel [chap, ii.] said, "As for the mystery whereof the king doth ask, neither 
the wise men, magicians, soothsayers, nor enchanters, can declare to the king : 
but there is a God in heaven, that discloseth mysteries, who will declare to thee, 
O king Nabuchadnezzar, what things shall come to pass in the last times of all." 
" To me also is this sacrament or mystery disclosed, not for any wisdom that is in 
me more than in all men living, but to the end that the interpretation might be 
made manifest to the king, and that thou shouldst know the cogitations of thy 

It was also said to Daniel [chap, xii.], " And thou Daniel, shut up the words, 
seal up the book, until the time appointed. Verily many people shall pass over, 
and manifold knowledge shall there be. And Daniel said to the man that was 
clothed with linen garments, who stood upon the waters of the flood : How long 
will it be before the end shall come of these marvellous things ? And I heard the 
man that was clothed in linen apparel, w'ho stood upon the waters of the floods, 
when he had lift up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and 
had sworn by him that liveth for evermore, that for a time, times, and half 
a time, and when the scattering abroad of the hand of the holy people shall be 
accomplished, then shall all these things be finished. And I heard and under- 
stood not, and I said, O my Lord! what shall be after these things? And he 
said, Go thy ways, Daniel, for this talk is shut and sealed up until the time that 
is before appointed." 

(1) Libanus and Carmel, two hills ; the one in Phoenicia, fruitful and pleasant, the othei in the 
borders of Jewry, barren and unpleasant, which is Carmel. 

rm: rkvlalinc ok antk iirist. 141 

All these thiiv^'s Ii.ive I written to show that he tliat li;ith the key of David, Hichar.i 
" Who openeth and no man shntteth, and shuttcth and no man ()j)eneth," doth " 
(wlien and how long it pleasetli him) liide the mysteries, and liide secrets of the . .. 
Scriptures from the wise, pnidont, and righteous ; and otherwliiles at his plea- . .j, . 

sure revealeth the same to sinners, and hiy-persons, and simple souls, that he ! L 

may have the honour and glory in all things. Wherefore, as I have hefore 
said, if you shall find any good thing in my writings, ascrihe the same to Ciod 
alone; if you shall hnd otherwise, think yc the same to he written of ignorance, 
and not of malice. And if any douht of error he showed me in all my writings, 
I will humblv allow your information and fatherly correction. 

Hut why are such manner of matters moved touching the disclosing of Anti- 
christ in this kingdom, more than in other kingdoms, and in this time also more 
th HI in time past? The answer as concerning the time of the motion is, that 
it is the last conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, in the sign of the Twins,' which 
is the liouse of Mercun*', being the signifier of the christian people: wliich con- 
junction seemeth to me to betoken the second coming of Christ to reform his 
church, and to call men again, l)y the disclosing of Antichrist, to the perfection 
of the gos])el, from their heathenish rites, and ways ol the (ientiles, by whom the 
holy city was trampled under foot for 12 months, even as the conjunction of the 
said two planets being enclosed in the side of the Virgin, which is also the house 
of Mercurj', did betoken the first coming of Christ, for the salvation of all peo- 
ple that were perished of the house of Israel, whereby to call them, through the 
same coming, to the full perfection of tlie gospel. As touching this calling o 
the heathen, speaketh Christ in the gospel, " I have also other shee|) that are 
not of this fold, and those must I bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there 
shall be one sheepfold, and one shepherd." For although theCicntiles be con- 
verted from the infidelity of their idolatry to the faith of Christ, yet are they 
not converted to the perfection of the law of Christ. And therefore did the 
apostles in the primitive church, lay no burden upon the Gentiles, hut that they Bytliis 
should abstain tVom heinous things, as from things offered to idols, and from pertecu- 
blood, and things strangled, and fornication. As touching this second coming ''""^ ^^P' 
spcakotli Isaiah, [chap, xi.], "On that day the root of Jesse, which standeth meaneth 
for a sign or mark to the people, to him shall the heathen make their homage '*''" 7^^°^' 
and supplication, and his .sepulchre shall be glorious ; and in that day shall it tiie 
come to pass, that the Lord shall the secoad time put to his hand, to possess the church 
remnant of his people," &c. " And he shall lift up a token toward the nations, of uie""' 
and he shall assemble the nmagate people of Israel that were fled, and those way. 
that were dispersed of Judah shall he gather together from the four quarters 
of the earth. And the zealous emulation of Ephraim shall he broken to pieces, 
and the enemies of Judah shall come to nought." Paul to the Thcssalonians 
saith, " We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and 
our gathering together before him, that you be not soon removed from your un- 
derstanding, neither that you be put in fear, as though the d.iy of the Lord were 
at hand, neither, as it were, by letter sent by us, neither by s])irit, nor yet by 
talk. Let not any body by any means bring you out of the way, or seduce you, 
for except there shall first come a departing, and that the man of sin. the son of 
perdition, shall be disclosed, which maketh resistance and is advanced above all 
that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he doth sit in the temple of Tlic rc- 
God, showing himself as if he were God. Do you not remember, that whilst I ^^aj'"!? 
was as yet with you, I told you of this .' And now ye know what keepeth him christ. 
back, that he may be uttered in his due time. For even now doth he work the 
my.stery of iniquity ; only that he which holdeth, may hold still until he be 
come to light ; and then shall that wicked one he disclosed, whom the Lord 
Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and shall destroy with the bright- 
ness of his coming ; even him, whose coming is, according to the working of 
Satan, in all power, with signs and lying wonch-rs, and in all deceitful leading 
out of the truth towards those do perish, because that they receive not 
heartily the love of truth, that they might be saved." 

(1) In sifrno Gemini. Mark here, (food reader, by thi« a.«tronoinical conjunrtion of thcue two 
planet*, in CHrrnini, he meaneth rovcrtlythe ichism t>Ftwt'en the two popes which Listed thirty-nine 
years; by which conjunction hii meaning ia, that Gud would hare Antichrist to be disclosed, and 
his church to he reformed. 







tion of de- 

of the 

One thou- 
sand two 
and nine- 
ty days, 

Why at 
this tim 
in this 
than in 
christ is 
first re- 
the faith, 
by the 
of God. 

Christ being demanded of tlie apostles what should be the token of his 
coming, and of the end of the world, said unto them, " There shall come 
many in my name, saying, I am Christ, and they shall seduce many :" also 
he telleth them of many other signs ; of battles, famine, pestilence, and earth- 
quakes. But the greatest sign of all he teacheth to be this, " When you shall see," 
saith he, " the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, he that 
readeth let him understand." But Luke in chap. xxi. of his gospel, speaketh more 
plainly hereof; " When you therefore, shall see Jenisalem to be compassed 
about with an army, then know ye that the desolation thereof shall draw nigh." 
And afterwards it followeth, " And they shall fall by the face of the sword, 
and shall be led away captive to all nations ; and Jerusalem shall be trod- 
den under foot of the heathen, until the times of the nations be fulfilled,'' 
Now in Daniel thus it is written of this matter; "And after seventy-two weeks 
shall Christ be slain, neither shall that be his people, that will deny him. And 
as for the city and sanctuary, a people shall (with his captain that will come 
with them) destroy the said city and sanctuary, and his end shall be to be 
wasted utterly, till it be brought to nought ; and, after the end of the Avar, 
shall come the desolation appointed. In one week shall he confirm the 
covenant to many, and within half a week shall the offering and sacrifice cease 
And in the temple shall there be the abomination of desolation, and even unto 
the end shall the desolation continue." And elsewhere, in Daniel, thus it is 
written, " From the time that the continual sacrifice shall be offered, and that 
the abomination shall be placed in desolation, there shall be one thousand two 
hundred and ninety days." 

Now if any man will behold the Chronicles, he shall find that after the destiiic- 
tion of Jerusalem was accomplished, and after the strong hand of the holy peo- 
ple was fully dispersed, and after the placing of the abomination (that is to 
say, the idol of desolation of Jerusalem, within the holy place, where the tem 
pie of God was before,) there had passed twelve hundred and ninety days, 
taking a day for a year, as commonly it is taken in the prophets ; and the times 
of the heathen people are fulfilled, after whose rites and customs God suffered 
the holy city to be trampled under foot for forty and two months. For 
although the christian church, which is the holy city, continued in the faith 
from the ascension of Christ, even till this time, yet hath it not observed and 
kept the perfection of the faith all this whole season ; for soon after the de- 
parture of the apostles, the faith was kept with the observation of the rites of 
the Gentiles, and not of the rites of Moses' law, nor of the law of the gospel 
of Jesus Christ. Wherefore, seeing that this time of the error of the Gentiles 
is fulfilled, it is likely that Christ shall call the Gentiles from the rites of their 
Gentility to the perfection of the gospel, as he called the Jews from the law of 
Moses to the same perfection in his first coming ; that there may be one sheep- 
fold of the Jews and Gentiles, under one shepherd. Seeing, therefore, that 
Antichrist is known, who hath seduced the nations, then shall the elect, after 
that they have forsaken the errors of their gentility, come, through the light 
of God's word, to the perfection of the gospel, and that same seducer shall be 
slain with the sword of God's word : so that by these things it doth partly 
appear unto me, why that at this time rather than at any other time, this matter 
of Antichrist is moved. 

And why this motion is come to pass in this kingdom rather than in 
other kingdoms, methinks there is good reason ; because no nation of the Gen- 
tiles was so soon converted unto Christ as were the Britons, the inhabitants of 
this kingdom. For to other places of the world there were sent preachers of the 
faith, who, by the working of miracles, and continual preaching of the word of 
God, and by grievous passion and death of the body, did convert the people o' 
those places ; but, in this kingdom, in the time of Lucius, king of the Britons, 
and of Eleutherius, bishop of the Romans, did Lucius hear from the Romans 
that were infidels (by the way of rumours and tales), of the christian faith 
which was preached at Rome. Who believed straightways, and sent to Rome, 
to Eleuthenus, for men skilful to inform him more fully in the very faith itself; 
at whose coming he was joyful, and was baptized, with his whole kingdom. 
And, after the receiving of the faith, they never forsook it, neither for any 
manner of false preaching of others, neither for any manner of torments, or 
yet assaults of the Painims, as in other kingdoms it hath come to pass. And 


thus it secnu'tl) to iiu> tlie Hritons, amongst other nations, have been, as it were liici.urd 
by the spei-i:!! iliction of God, called and converted to the faith. Of tliem, as ''■ 
me seemeth, did Isaiah prophesy, sayinj: ; " For tiu-y did see, to whom there ;^ j^ 
was nothinj; told of him, and they did beliold, that had not heard of him." jyyj 

And, a<,'ain, " I5t liold, thou slialt call a nation which thou knewest not; and ^ 

nations that have not known thee, shall run unto thee; for the Lord thy God, 
and the holy mw of Israel shall jjlorify thee." 

Of this kinj,'d(Mn did St. John, in the Apocalypse, prophesy, as mc seemeth, 
where he said, " 'I'he draj;on stood before the woman, which was about to be 
delivered of a child, to the intent that when .she had brought it forth info the 
world, he might devour up her son : and she brought forth a child, winch was 
a man-child, who should govern all nations with an iron rod. And the same The call- 
Son was taken up to tiod, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the ll'** "?^|''"' 
wilderness, where she had a place jjrepared of God, that they may feed xtie wo- 
her one thousand two hundred and sixty days." And again, in the sama jnan fed 
chapter, " .\fter the dragon saw that he was cast out u]>on the earth, he did "^rt one* 
persecute the woman, which brought forth the man-child. And there were thouiand 
jnven to the woman two wine-s of a irrcat ea^le, that she mit;ht flee into the ^wohun- 
wilderness into her ])lace, where she is fostered up for a time, times, and sj^ty 
half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent did cast, as it were, da.vs 
a flood of water after the woman, to the intent that he might cause her to 
be drowned iiy the flood ; and the earth, opening her mouth, did help the 
woman, and did swallow up the flood which the dragon did cast out of his 
mouth." Let us see how these sayings may be ajiplied unto this kingdom 
rather than to other kingdoms. It is well known that this kingdom is a wil- 
derness or a desert jilace, because the ])hilosophers and wise men did not pass 
upon it, but did leave it for a wilderness and desert, because it is placed without 
the climates. 

Unto this place fled the woman ; tint is to say, the church, which by faith Tiiis 
did si)iritually bring forth Christ into the world, where she was fed with the hea- \\^^^°. 
venly bread, the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, for one thousand two hundred sort, in 
and sixty days, seeing that for so many days, taking a day for a year, the ''"^Scrip- 
Britons continued in the faith of Christ ; which thing cannot be found so of seemeth 
any christian kingdom, but of this desert. And well it is said, that she flew to here 
this place. For from the East came the faith into Britain, not by walking in ^^^^„ 
journey, nor yet by sailing ; for then should it have come by Rome, Italy, hanily 
Almaine, or France, which cannot be found : and therefore she flew over those expound 
places, and rested not in them, even as a bird, flying over a place, rcsteth not p„i,(, 
in the same, but resteth in this wilderness for a time, times, and half a time : c.ime in- 
that is, one thousand two hundred and sixty years, from the first coming of {"jp f^ni 
the faith into Britain until this present. the Kast, 

In saying for a time, times, and half a time, there is agoing forward from yt from 
the greater to the less. The greatest time that we name, is one thousand years ; Rome.*" 
there is a time ; and the next time, that is less, in the singular number, is one 
hundred years. In the plural nvunbcr," times" signify that there he more hun- 
dreds than one, at least two hundred vears. Wherefore, if they be put under a 
certain number, it must needs be that they be two ; but the same two cannot 
fitly be called some times, excej)t they be hundreds. For in this, that there is a .\ time, 
going down from the greater to the Jess, when it is said a time, times, and half '^'^I'^^'^jf 
a time, and that the number of one thousand is likely assigned for a time, a time 
it must needs follow, that times nnist be taken for hundreds, and half a time for cxpound- 
sixtv, because it is the greater half of a hundred years though fifVy be Uie even " 

And when the serpent sent the water of the persecution after the woman to her to be drowned of the flood, then did the earth, that is to say, the 
stableness of faith, help the woman, by supping up the water of tribulation. 
For in the most cruel persecution of Diodesian and-Maximian against the Per»ecu- 
Christians, when Christianity was almost every where rooted out, yet did they, |'°" j" 
in this kingdom, stand continually in the faith unmovable. And so, consider- sian'i 
ing that the Britons were converted to the faith of Christ, as you would say, by time 
an election and picking out amongst all the nations of the heathen, and that **^^.j ^,„ 
after they had received the fiiith, they did never start back from the faith for 
any manner of tribulation ; it is not to be marvelled at if, in their place, the 






A friend 
to the 

faith of 
the Bri- 

Tales of 



A false 
tion of 


and pro- 

calling of the Gentiles be made manifest, to the profiting of the gospel of Jesus 
Christ, by the revealing of Anticlirist. 

But besides this, me seemeth that Ezekiel doth specially speak of them, 
where he speakcth of the fall of the prince of Tyre, saying : " Forasmuch as 
thy heart is lifted up, as if it were the heart of God, therefore, behold, I will 
bring upon thee some of the strongest of the heathen ; and they shall draw 
their naked swords upon the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy 
comeliness, and they shall slay thee, and pull thee out ; and thou shalt die in 
the slaughter of the slain persons, in the heart of the sea." 

This prince, who saith that he himself is God, and doth sit in God's chair in 
the heart of the sea, doth signify, as most likely it seemeth to me, that Anti- 
christ shall be destroyed by the most mighty persons of the Gentile folk, through 
the sword of the word of God ; because that amongst the other Gentiles there 
have been none more strong than the Britons, either in their body or their 
faith; and, in their bodily wars, there have been none more mighty than they, 
for never in wars have they been vanquished, but by their own sedition or 
treason. But how many kingdoms have they conquered ! Yea, and neither 
by the most mighty city of Rome could they be driven out of their kingdom, 
until that God sent upon them pestilence and famine ; whereby they, being 
wasted, were compelled to leave their country, which thing I have not heard 
of any other people. Now, in the faith, have they been amongst all the people 
the strongest, as is before said, because that by no tribulation could they be 
compelled to forsake the faith. 

Wherefore of them this seemeth to me to be understood : "Then will I bring 
upon thee some of the strongest people, and they shall draw their naked 
swords," &c. By these things it may plainly appear, why at this time, rather 
than in time past, this matter is stirred up ; and why in this kingdom, rather 
than in other kingdoms, the calling of the Gentiles is treated of, to the verifj^- 
ing of the gospel, through the disclosing of Antichrist. 

But forasmuch as many tales and fables are told of Antichrist and his coming, 
and many things, which do rather seduce than instruct the hearers, are applied 
to him out of the Scriptures of the prophets, we will briefly write those things 
which are spoken of him, and we will show that the same fable sprang from 
the error of people imagining, and from no truth of the Scriptures prophe- 
sying. Now then they do say, that Antichrist shall be born in Babylon of the 
tribe of Dan, and conceived of the mixture of man and woman in sin, because 
that Christ was born of a virgin, and conceived of the Holy Ghost. They say, 
that he shall be an ill favoured personage, because that it is written of Christ, 
" Comely and beautiful is he, beyond the sons of men." They say, that he shall 
preach three years and half where Christ preached ; and that he shall circum- 
cise himself, and say that he is Christ, and the Messias, sent for the salvation 
of the Jews. And they say, that he shall three manner of ways seduce the 
people ; by false miracles, gifts, and torments ; so that whom he shall not be 
able to overcome with miracles or with gifts, those shall he go about to over- 
come with divers kinds of torments ; and those that he shall seduce, will he 
mark with his tokens in their forehead or hands. He shall sit in the temple 
of God, and cause himself to be worshipped as God. He shall fight, as they 
say, with the two witnesses of Christ, Enoch and Elijah, and shall kill them; 
and he himself shall finally be slain with lightning. To this imagined man of 
their own imagination, but by none of the prophets foreshowed (at least in no 
such wise as this is), do they apply the prophets, as this of Daniel : " When 
the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and abomination shall be placed to 
desolation :" that is, say they, when the worshipping of God shall be taken 
away, and desolation (to wit, Antichrist) shall abominably show forth himself 
to be worshipped, then shall there be twelve hundred and ninety days : that is 
to say, three years and a half: and this time do they say is the time, times, 
and half a time. And when it is said in Daniel, "Blessed is he that looketh 
for, and cometh to one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days," this, 
do they say, is thus to be understood : forty-five days of repentance to 
such as have worshipped Antichrist ; which forty-five days added to the one 
thousand two hundred and ninety, make one thousand three hundred and 
thirty-five days ; which days, they that shall reach unto, shall be called blessed. 

They apply also to this Antichrist, this saying of the Apocalypse, " I saw a 

SIc;\S OK THl. COMINc; Ol AN riCIIUIsT. 1 i.') 

beast rising up mil of tlu- sou, luivin}; .seven lieads and ten horn.^, wlio had Richard 

power fjiven liim to make forty-two inontlis :" wliicli montlis, as they say, do ^'■ 

make three yeur.s and a lialf, in which Antielirist sliall reifjn. And many other . ij 

thing's there are toM, and applied unlitly to this imaginca Antichrist, that arc 1301 
not truly grounded upon the Scriptures. 

Now let us show the errors of this fable : first of all, if there Shall come such Touching 
a one (.sayint; exj)re.sslv that he is Christ), what Christian would he seduced by l.''^'"'' 
him, though he should do ever so many miracles .' Neither sliall he come after months. 
the manner of a seducer, who shall show himself an express adversary. Neither see vol. ii. 
is it likely the Jews can be seduced by such a one, seeing that Christ is P''^'*'' 
not promised unto them of the stock of Dan by iuiy of the prophets, but of the j^.^^na- 
stock of Judah : nor yet is he promised to them to be a kmg warlike, but tion 
peaceable, taking war away, and not making war. For of Christ saith Isai.Ui ''"'c'""? 
[chap, ii.], " And in the last days, shall there be prepared the mountain of the christ, 
house of the Lord, iu the top of the mountains, and it shall be e.valted above the confuted. 
hills ; and to it shall all the nations have great recourse, and many people shall Anti- 
go and say : Come, let us go uj) to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house comcth 
of the Ciod of Jacob, and he shall teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his not so 
paths. For out of Sion shall there go a law, aiul the word of the Lord from f^.";*'!*'*' 
Jerusalem, and he shall judge the nations, and reprove nuicli people. And pists ima- 
thcy shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into scythes. E'ne. 
There shall not a nation lift u]) itself against another nation, nor yet shall they 
be any more exercised to war." And again [Isaiah ix.], " A little babe is born 
to us, and a son is given to us, and his imperial kingdom u])on his shoulder ; 
and his name sludl he called, the great Counsellor, the mighty God, the Father 
of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and 
there shall be no end of his peace. He shall sit upon the seat of David, and 
upon his kingdom ; that he may make it steadfast and strong in judgment and 
in justice, from henceforth and for evermore." Zachariah [chap. i.\.] doth say 
of Christ : " Rejoice thou greatly, O thou daughter Sion ! be thou exceeding merry, 
O daughter Jenisalem ! Behold, thy king shall come a righteous person and a 
Saviour unto thee, and yet he a poor man, and getting uj) upon an ass, even 
upon a yomig colt of the she-ass. And I will scatter abroad the chariot of 
Ephraim, and the horse of Jerusalem ; and the bow of war shall be dispersed, 
and he shall speak peace to the nations, and his power shall be from the sea to 
the sea, and from the flood unto the borders of the earth." 

By whicli things it is manifest, that the wise Jews knew well enough, Christ Christ 
to be promised to them of the stock of Judah, and not of the stock of Dan ; and come of 
tliat he was given all to peace, and not to war : therefore it is not likely that thf trii>c 
they can be seduced by such a one. But if there should have been, in time to "'^ ^^^' 
come, some such singular .\ntichrist, then would Christ, seeing he loved his, 
have said somewhat unto them of him. Now, of one singularly, doth he not 
speak, but of many, saying, " Many shall come in my name, and say, I am 
Christ ; and they shall seduce many persons." But now let us see, how the 
pronhecies in Daniel, and in the Apocalypse, aforesaid, be fidsely and errone- 
ously applied to the same imagined Antichrist. For in Daniel [chap, i.x.], thus 
it is written : " .\nd after seventy-two weeks shall Christ be slain, and they which 
will deny him shall not be his people. And the city and sanctuary shall a 
people, with their captain that shall come with them, destroy ; whose end shall 
be utter desolation, and after the end of the war a detennined destruction. Now 
he shall in one week confirm his covenant towards many ; and in the half week, 
shall the olFeriiig and sacrifice cease ; and in the temple .shall there be an abo- The abo- 
mination of desolation : and even to the fulfilling up of all, and to the end shall ™'P''ti<"i. 
the desolation continue. It is plain and mannest tliat this prophecy is now dtsola- 
fulfilled. For the peoide of Rome, with their captain, destroyed Jerusalem •'<'"• 
even to the ground, aiul the people of the Jews were slain and scattered. And f,,'',"',,-"'^ 
the abomination, that is, the idol of desolation, was placed by .Vdrian, in the holy 
last destruction, in Jeru.salem, in the holy place ; that is to say, in a ])lace of I''"'"'"- 
the temple. And from that time hitherto have passed near about twelve hun- 
dred and ninety days, taking a day for a year, as Daniel takes it in his pro- 
phechies, and other prophets likewise. For Daniel, speaking of the sixty-two 
weeks, doth not speak of the weeks of days, but of years. So, therefore, when 
he saith, " From the time that the continual sacrifice was taken away," &c., 
VOL. III. 1. 


nichnrd twelve hundred and ninety days must be taken for so many years, from the 
'^ time of the desolation of Jerusalem, even unto the revealing of Antichrist ; and 
. Tj not for three years and a half, which, they say. Antichrist shall reign. And 
I'ioi' ''g'^J'i; whereas Daniel said, "How long till the end of these marvellous mat- 
— L! — 1- ters ?" it was answered him, " For a time, and times, and half a time :" behold 
Anti- also, how unfitly they did assign this time, by three years and a half, which 
rei"nVn!y ^^'^X ^^y Antichrist shall reign. For whereas it is said " a time, times, and 
three half a time;" there is a going downward from the greater to the less, from the 
years whole to the part, because it is from a time to half a time. If, therefore, there 
haifAs ^^^ ^ goi"g downward from the whole to the part, by the midst (which is greater 
falfe. than the whole itself), the going downward is not meet or agi-eeing. And this 
is done when it is said, that a time, times, and half a time, is a year, two years, 
and half a year. Wherefore, more fitly it is said, that a time, times, and half a 
time, doth signify twelve hundred and ninety years, as is before said in the 
chapter preceding. Thus therefore is the prophecy of Daniel falsely applied to 
that imagined Antichrist. 
Look be- Likewise is the process of the Apocalypse applied to the same imagined Anti- 
fureinthe christ too en'oneously. Because that the same cruel beast which came up out 
the ten o^ '■he sea, having seven heads and ten horns, to whom there was power given 
first per- over every tribe, people, and tongue, and the power given for the space of foity- 
vo^"i'°"^' ''^^^ months : this beast doth note the Roman emperors, who most cruelly did 
Apoc.xiii. persecute the people of God, as well Christians as Jews. For when the condem- 
nation of the great whore, sitting upon the many waters, was showed to John, 
he saw the same woman sitting upon the purple-coloured beast, fidl of the names 
of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns, and he saw a woman being 
drimken with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesu. And the angel, ex- 
pounding and telling him the mystery of the woman and the beast that carried 
her, said, " The seven heads are seven hills, and are seven kings : five are 
fallen, one is, the other is not yet come : and when he shall come, he must reign 
a short time. And the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten kings, who have 
not yet taken their kingdom, but shall receive their power as it were in one horn- 
under the beast." And, finally, he saith, "The woman whom thou sawest is 
The pur- the great city, which hath the kingdom over the kings of the earth." And it is 
P'^ J'"^''^' manifest that the city of Rome, at the time of this pi-ophecy, had the kingdom 
Apoca- over the kings of the earth. And this city was borne up and upholden by her 
lypse cruel and beastly emperors ; who, by their cruelty and bea^liness, did subdue 
Romtf*^ unto themselves, in a manner, all the kingdoms of the world, of zeal to have 
lordship over others, and not virtuously to govern the people that were their 
subjects, seeing that they themselves did lack all virtue, and di-ew back others 
from the faith, and from virtue. 

Wherefore that cruel beast coming up out of the sea, doth rightly note the 

Roman emperors, who had power over every language, people, and country. 

And the power of the beast was for forty-two months, because that from the 

first emperor of Rome, that is to say, Julius Ca?sar, unto the end of Frederic, 

For tlie the last emperor of Rome, there were forty-two months, taking a month for 

forty-two thirty days, as the months of the Hebrews and Grecians are, and taking a day 

m on tlm ' ^ o j 

look be- always for a year, as it is commonly taken in the prophets. By which things 
fore, page it may plainly appear how unfitly this prophecy is applied to that imagined 
1 24, vol. 11. Antichrist, and the forty-two months taken for three years and a half, which, 
they say, he shall reign in, against the saying of the prophets, because days are 
taken for years. As in the second chapter of the Apocalypse, " They shall be 
troubled ten days ;" which do note the most cruel persecution of Dioclesian 
against the Christians, that endured ten years. And in another place of the 
Apocal)rpse it is written of " the smoke coming up out of the bottomless pit :" 
out of which pit there came forth grasshoppers into the earth, and to them was 
power given, as scorpions have power, to vex and trouble men five months. 
Now, it is manifest, that from the beginning of the friars minors and preachers,* 
to the time that Armachanus began to disclose and uncover their hypocrisy, 
and their false foundation of valiant begging under the poverty of Christ, were 
five months, taking a month for thirty days, and a day for a year : and to 
Ezekiel were days given for years. Wherefore it is an unfit thing to assign the 

(1) The beginning and end of the valiant beggarly friars spoken of in the Apocalypse, expounded 
by Armachanus, see vol. ii. p. 756. 


forty-two moiitlis, being appointed to the power of the beast, unto three years Richard 
and a half, for the reifjn of that fantastical and imagined Antichrist ; especially '' 
seeing that tluy do apj)ly to his reign the twelve hundred and ninety days in ^ jj 
Daniel, which make forty-two months, and in the Apocalypse they assign him 1,391 
forty-two months. It is plain that the psaltery and llie harp agree not. And, 

therefore, seeing that it is suliiciently showed tliat the same fabling tale of that ^^ •":"'tT 
imagined Antichrist to come, is a fable and eiKmeous; let us go forward to ,iirist lie 
declare whether Antichrist be already couic, and yet is he hid from many, and -ilriaily 
must be opened and disclosed within a little while according to the truth of the '^*^""" 
holy Scripture, for the salvation of the faithful. 

And because that in the fn-st conclusion of mine answer I have conditionallv 
put it : Who is the .-Vntichrist lying privy in the hid Scriptures of the prophets I I 
will pass on to the declaration of that conclusion, bringing to light tliose things 
which lay hid in darkness, because nothing is hid which shall not be disclosed, and 
nothing covered which shall not be known. And therefore the thing which was 
said in the darkness, let us say in the light ; and the thing that we have heard 
in the ear, let us preach upon the house-tops. I, therefore, as I have before said. The pope 
so say, that if the high bishop of Rome, calling himself the servant of (Jod and l'''"\'-''l 
the chief vicar of Christ in this world, do make and justify many laws contrary curist. 
to the gospel of Jesu Christ, then is he the chief of many, who, coming in the 
name of Christ, have s.'iid "I am Christ," who have seduced many: which is 
the (irst part of the first conclusion, and is manifest ; for Christ is called by the 
Hebrews the very same that we call anointed ; and amongst thenj there was a Anoint- 
double sort of legal anointing by the law, the one of kings, and the other of "Jk;'""- 
priests ; and as well were the kings, as the priests, called in the law, Christs. scrimurc 
The kings, as in the Psalm, " The kings of the earth stood up together, and the Kin«s 
princes assembled themselves in one against the Lord, and against his Christ or ""■''_ 
anointed." And in the Books of the Kings very often are the kings called anointed. 
Christs ; and our Saviour was Christ, or anointed king, because he was a king 
for evermore upon the throne of David, as the Scripture doth very oftentimes 
witness. The priests also were called anointed, as where it is written, " Do not 
ye touch my Christs ;" that is, mine anointed ones, " and be not ye spiteful against 
my prophets." And so was our Saviour Christ "a priest for ever, according to 
the order of Melchizedec." 

Seeing then that the bishops of Rowie do say that they are the high priests, Popos 
they say also therein that they are kings, because they say that thoy have the '"^'"" 
spiritual sword pertaining to their priesthood, and the corporal sword which gJiTJs 
agrecth for a king's state. So is it plain, that, really and in very deed, thev I'riesu 
say that they are Christs, albeit that expressly they be not called Christs. PI"* 
Now, that they come in the name of Christ it is manifest, because they say that The pope 
they are his principal vicars in this world, ordained of Christ specially for the malieth 
government of the christian church. Therefore, seeing they say that really cirri*^"^ 
and in very deed they are Christs, and the chief friends of Christ; if they make nnd 
and justify many laws contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, then is it jjlain ''"""•'•'> in 
that they themselves in earth are tlie principal Antichrists, because there is no hV proved 
worse plagx'.e and pestilence than a familiar enemy. And if in secret they be ■'^'">- 
against Christ, and yet in open appearance they say that they arc his friends, p„7ward 
they are so much the nisre meet to seduce and deceive the christian people : friend, 
because a manifest enemy shall have much ado to deceive a man, because men "'"' 1"^'''^ 
trust him not ; but a privy enemy, pretending outward friendship, may easily chrUt. " 
seduce, yea those that be wise. 

But that this matter may the more fully be known, let us see is the law 
and doctrine of Christ, that ought to be observed by all faithful people ; which 
being known, it shall be an easy thine to see, if the bishop of Home do make 
or maintain any laws contrary to the law of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I say then, tiiat the law of Christ is charity, which is the perfect love of God 
and ol' Christ. This thing is plain and manifest. For Christ being demanded 
of a certiiin doctor of the law, "What is the greatest commandment in the 
law V answered : " Thou shaltlove the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with The law 
all thy soul, and with all thy mind: this is the principal and greatest com- °'^'"^'= 
mandment. .\nd as for the second it is like unto this : Thou shalt love thy mended 
neighbour as thine own self. On these two commandments the whole law and '" ""^ 
prophets depend." And in another place [John xiii.] Christ saith : "All manner ^°''"^* 


Richard of things, therefore, that you would that men should do to you, the same 

^^- also do you unto them, for this is the law and the prophets." And in the 

. p. same chapter of John, Christ saith, " And now do I say unto you, I give you 

]„'q/ a new commandment, that you should love each other; as I loved you, in like 

. 1. manner that you also should love one another. In this shall all men know 

that you are my disciples, if you shall have love one towards another." And 
John, chapter xv. " This is my commandment, that you love together as I 
have loved you. Greater love than this hath nobody, that a man should give 
his life for his friends." The apostle Peter saith, in his first epistle, chapter iv. 
" Above all things having continually charity one towards another; for charity 
covereth the multitude of sins. Be ye harbourers, and entertain ye one another 
without grudging ; every one as he hath received grace, so let him bestow it 
upon another man, as the good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any 
man speak, let him speak as the word of God. If any man do ought for 
another, let it be done with singleness and unfeigned verity, ministered of God 
to usward, that in all things God may be honoured through Jesus Christ our 
Lord." James, in his epistle, chapter ii. says, " If ye perform the royal law 
accordingly to the Scriptures, ' thou shalt love thy neighbour,' ye do well : but 
if ye be partial in receiving and preferring men's personages, ye work wicked- 
ness, being blamed of the law as transgressors." And again, "So speak ye, 
and so do ye, as ye should now begin to be judged by the law of liberty. What 
shall it avail, my brethren, if a man say he have faith, and have no works ? 
Never shall that faith be able to save him. For if a brother or sister be naked, 
and have need of daily food, and some of you say to them. Go ye in peace, be 
ye made warm and satisfied ; and if ye shall not give those things that are 
necessary for the body, what shall it avail 1 Even so faith, if it have not works, 
is dead in itself." 

John, in his first epistle, chapter iii. " This is the tidings which you have 
lieard from the beginning, that you should love one another." And again, " We 
know that we are translated from death to life, if we love the brethren : he that 
loveth not, abideth in death." And again, " Herein do we know the love of 
God, because that he hath laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down 
our lives for the brethren. He that shall have the substance of this world, and 
shall see his brother have need, and shall shut up his bowels from him, how 
abideth the love of God in him ? My little children, let us not love in word nor 
tongue, but in deed and truth." And again, chapter iv. " Most dearly beloved, 
let us love together ; for love is of God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God ; 
for God is love. In this thing hath the love of God appeared in us, that God 
hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we should live by him. 
Herein is love ; not that we have loved God, but that he hath first loved us, 
and hath sent his Son an atonement for oin- sins. Most dearly beloved, if God 
have loved us, we so ought to love together. No man hath seen God at any 
time; if we love together, God abideth in us, and his love is perfect in us." 
And again, •' Let us love God, for he hath first loved us. If a man shall say, 
I love God, and do hate his brother, he is a liar : for he that loveth not his 
brother whom he seeth, how can he love God whom he seeth not? And this 
commandment have we of God, that who so loveth God, should love his brother 
also." Paul the apostle, in his epistle to the Romans, chapter xiii. "Owe ye 
nothing to nobody, saving that you should love together ; for he that loveth his 
brother hath fulfilled the law. For thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt 
not murder, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt 
not covet thy neighbour's goods ; and if there be any other commandment, it is 
plentifully fulfilled in this word : ' Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' " 
Wherefore the fulfilling of the law is love. 

Paul to the Corinthians [chapter xiii.] saith, " If I should speak with the 
tongues of men and angels, and yet have not charity, I am become as it were a 
piece of sounding metal or tinkling cymbal. And if I have all prophecy, and 
know all mysteries and all knowledge, and shall have all faith, so that I might 
remove mountains, and yet shall not have charity, I am nothing. And if I shall 
give abroad all my goods to feed the poor, and shall give up my body to be 
burned, and yet have not charity, it profits me nothing." To the Galatians 
[chapter v.] saith Paul, " For you my brethren arc called unto liberty : do ye 
not give your liberty for an occasion of the flesh, but by charity of the spirit 

i.()\ K rnK lai.m.i.iNc. ok tiii-: iaw. 14«9 

serve ye one another. For all tho law is fullilled in one saying : " Tiiou slialt it„-hatd 
love thy neighbour as thine own self." To tlie Ephesians [chapter iv.] he saith, " 

1 therefore that sutler bonds in the Lord do beseecli you, that you would walk ^ jj 
worthy of the calling wherewith ye are called, with all humbleness and mild- i;j;)| 

ness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, being careful to keep the '- 

unity of the spirit in the bond of peace : that you he one body and one spirit, 
even as you be called in one hope of your calling." And again, chapter v. " Re 
ye followers of me as most dear children, and walk ye in love, as Clirist also 
hatli loved as, and hath delivered uj) himself for us, an olfering and sacrifice to 
(lod of a sweet savour." To tiie Philippians, tims he speaketh, in chapter i. 
'• t)nly let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of Christ, that either wiien 
1 shall come and see you, or else in mine absence I may hear of you, that you 
stand steadfast in one spirit, labouring together with one accord for the faith of 
the gospel. And in nothing be ye afraid of the adversaries, which is to them a 
cause of damnation, but to you of salvation, and that of (iod. For to you it is 
given, not only that you should believe in him, but also that you should suffer 
with him, you having the like fight and battle that you have both seen in me, 
and also now do hear of me. If, therefore, there be any consolation in Christ, 
if any comfort of charity, if any fellowsiiip of the spirit, if any bowels of com- 
passion, fulfil you my joy, that you may be of one judgment, having one and 
the selfsame cliarity, being of one accord, of one manner of judgment, doing 
nothing of contention or of vain glory, but in humbleness accounting others 
amongst you, every one, better than yourselves; not every body looking upon 
the things that be his own, but on those that belong to others." And to the 
Colossians [chapter iii.] thus he writeth, " You, therefore, as the elect of God, 
holy and beloved, put upon you the bowels of mercy, gentleness, humbleness, 
lowliness, modesty, patience, bearing one with another, and giving place to your- 
selves : if any have a quarrel against any body, even as the Lord forgave you, 
so do you also. Above all tilings have ye charity, which is the bond of per- 
fection, and let the peace of Christ triumph in your hearts, in which peace you 
also are called in one body; and be ye kind and thankful." And to the Thes- 
salonians, thus Paul writeth, in his first epistle, chapter iv. " As concerning 
brotherly charity we have no need to write unto you; for you yourselves have 
learned of God, that you sliould love one another. And the same tiling ye do 
towards all the brethren throughout all Macedonia." 

Out of all these, and many other places of the holy Scripture, it sufficiently 
appeareth, that the law of Christ is charity ; neither is there any virtue com- 
manded by Christ, or any of his apostles, to be observed by the faithful people, 
but that it Cometh out of charity, or else doth nourish charity. 

The law is given by Moses, and the truth by Christ. Christ came not to un- 
loose the law and the prophets, but to fulfil them. But yet many things were M.iiiy" 
lawful and might have been observed in the time of the law, which in the time }.',""fy] ,^. 
of grace must not be observed ; and many things were unhuvful to them that the old 
were under the law, which in the time of grace are lawful enough. After what '-iw. 
sort, then, he did not loose the law, but did fulfil it, it is necessary to declare, ^'^"^^ *" 
for those ttiings which hereafler must be said. For amongst Christians many now 
things are judged to be lawful, because in the former Testament in the law they 
were lawful : and yet they be expressly contrary to Christ's gospel. But the 
authors of such things do argue and reason thus : Christ came not to loose the How 

law or the prophets. Now after what sort he did not unloose them, it is mani- phristdid 
• l , , . i«r ■• II loose, alio 

fest by the holy bcnpture ; that the law given by .Moses, was written in tables not loose 
of stone, to declare the hardness of the people's heart towards the love of God, tlic U^^. 
or of Christ. But Christ hath written his law in the hearts and in tlie minds of 
his ; that is to sny, the law of perfect love of God and of Christ : which law 
whosoever observeth, he doth observe the law of Moses, and doth much greater 
works of perfection, than were the works of the law. Thus, therefore, were the 
morals of the old law fulfilled in the law of the charity of Christ, and not un- 
loosed ; because they are much more perfectly observed, than by the Jews : 
thi.s I say, if the Christians do observe the commandments of Christ in such 
sort, as he commanded the same to be observed. Christ hath fulfilled the laws 
moral of the Old Testament, because that the morals and judicials were ordained, 
that one person should not do injury to another, and that every man should 
have paid him that is his. Now they that arc in charity, will do no injury to 






tion, b/ 

not into 
the tem- 
ple mada 
l)y man, 
hut into 
the verj' 
His sacri- 
fice not 
but once 
for all. 

others, neither do they take other men's goods away from them ; nay, she seeketh 
not her own things, for charity seeketh not the things that be her own. Where- 
fore much less, by a stronger reason, it ought not to seek for other men's goods. 
And when the judicials and morals were ordained, Christ did not, by the works 
of the law, justify the believers in him, but by grace justified them from their 
sins. And so did Christ fulfil that by grace, which the law could not by 

Paul to the Romans, declareth in a godly discourse, and to the Galatians 
likewise, " That none shall be justified by the works of the law, but by grace ' 
in the faith of Jesus Christ." As for the morals and ceremonies of the law, as 
circumcision, sacrifices for offences and for sins, first-fruits, tenths, vows, divers 
sorts of washings, the sprinkling of blood, the sprinkling of ashes, abstaining 
from unclean meats, which are ordained for the sanctifying and cleansing of 
the people from sin, no nor yet the prayers of the priests, neither the preachings 
of the prophets could cleanse a man from his sin. For death reigned even from 
Adam to Moses, and sin from Moses to Christ, as Paul declareth to the Romans, 
[chapter v.] But Christ, willing to have mercy and not sacrifice, " being a 
priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec, and a high priest of good things 
to come, did neither by the blood of goats nor calves, but by his own blood 
enter in once into the holy places, when everlasting redemption was found • 
neither did Jesus enter into the holy places that were made with hands, which 
are the examples of true things, but into the very heaven, that now he may 
appear before the coimtenance of God for us. Nor yet he did so, that he should 
offer up himself oftentimes, as the high bishop entered into the holy place every 
year with strange blood (for otherwise he must needs have suffered oftentimes 
since the beginning of the world) ; but now, in the latter end of the world, hath 
he once appeared, by his own sacrifice, for the destruction of sin. And, like as 
it is decreed for men once to die, and after that cometh judgment, even so ivas 
Christ once offered up to consume away the sins of many. The second time 
shall he appear without sin to the salvation of such as look for him." [Heb. ix. 
24 — 28.] "For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the 
very image or substance itself of the things, can never, by those sacrifices which 
they offer, of one self-same sort continually year by year, make them perfect 
that come unto her: otherwise men would leave off offering, because that those 
worshippers being once cleansed should have no more prick of conscience for 
sin afterwards. But in them is there remembrance made of sins every year. 
For it is impossible, that by the blood of goats and bulls sins should be taken 
away. Whereas he, entering into the world, doth say, As for sacrifice and 
offering thou woiddst not have, but a body hast thou framed unto me : and 
sacrifices for sin have not pleased thee. Then, said I, Behold, I come : in the 
head, or principal part of the book it is written of me, that I should do thy will, 
O God. Wherefore he said before, that sacrifices, oblations, and burnt-offer- 
ings, and that for sin, thou wouldst not have, neither were those things pleasant 
to thee which are offered according to the law : then said T, Behold, I come, 
that I may do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish 
that that followed. In which will we are sanctified and made holy, by the offer- 
ing up of the body of Jesus Christ once. And verily every priest is ready every 
day ministering, and oftentimes offering the self-same sacrifices, which never 
can take away sins. But this man, offering one sacrifice for sins, doth for ever 
and ever sit at God's right hand, looking for the rest to come, till that his ene- 
mies be placed to be his footstool. For with one offering hath he for ever made 
' perfect those that be sanctified." [Heb. x. 1 — 14.] By which things it plainly 
appeareth, that Christ, by one offering, hath cleansed his from their sins, who 
could not be cleansed from the same by all the ceremonies of the law, and so 
did fulfil that, which the priesthood of the law could not. Wherefore only the 
morals and judicials he fulfilled by the law of charity, and by grace ; and the 
ceremonials, by one ofiering-up of his body on the altar of the cross. And so 
it is plain that Christ fufiUed the whole law. 

Wherefore, since the holy things of the law were a shadow of those things that 
were to come in the time of grace, it were meet that all those things should 
utterly cease amongst Christians, wliich should either be against charity or the 

(1) Grace, that is, the free favour, mercy, and goodness of God. 


pracc of Christ. Although in the time of the law they wore lawful, and not Huh.ird 
utterly contrary to it, but were figures of perfections in Christ's faith, yet it ^^• 
were meet that they should cease at the coming of the perfection wliicli they ~a7Tk~ 
did pretij^urate ; as circumcision, the catin;^ of the paschal lamb, and otlier 1,391. 

ceremonial points of the law. Whereupon also, Paul to the Hebrews, [cliapter vii. 

11 — 19,1 saith thus " If, therefore, the makinj^ up of the perfection of all, 
was by tne Levitical priesthood (for the people received the law under him), why 
was it necessary ' l)esides, that another priest should rise up after the order of 
Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron ! For when the priest- whero 
hood is removed, it nuist needs be that tlie law also be removed. For he of the 
whom these thinj^s are spoken, is of another tribe, of which none stood j)Vesent jJ"o"'j^ 
at the altar; because it is manifest that our Lord had his offspring of Judah, in removed, 
whicli tribe Moses spake nothing of the priests. And besides this, it is manifest, "'^■'^'^. 
if according to the order of .Melchisedec there do rise up another priest, which ja^^i^ ' 
was not made according to the law of the carnal conmiandmeiit, but according removed 
to the power of the life that cannot be lost. For thus lie beareth witness, 
That thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec : so that the com- 
maiulment that went before, is disallowed for the weakness and unprofitableness 
thereof, for the law hath brought nobody to perfection." Hy which things it The 
appeareth that Christ, making an end of the priesthood of Aaron, doth also ""*.'^ 
make up a full end of tlie law belonging to that priesthood.' Whereupon I the effect 
marvel that your learned men do say, that christian folks are bound to this a''"^ 
small ceremony of the payment of tithes, and care nothing at all for others, as ""*' 
well the great as the small ceremonies of the law. 

It is plain, that the tithes were given to the sons of Levi, for their serving in 
the tabernacle and in the temple of the Lord, as the first-fruits were given to 
the priests, and also part of the sacrifices ; and so were the vows of their ministry, 
as it appeareth in the Hook of Numbers, [chapter xxii.] But forasmuch as the 
labour of those sacriiices did cease at the coming of Christ, how should those 
things be demanded, which were ordained for that labour ? And, seeing that 
the first fniits were not demanded of Christians, which first fruits were then 
rather and sooner demanded than the tithes, why must the tithes be demanded, 
except it be therefore, peradventure, because the tithes be more worth in value 
than be the first fruits ? 

Secondly, Why are the lay people bound to the payment of tithes, more than 
the Levites and the priests were to the not having of possessions of realties 
and lordships amongst their brethren, seeing that the selfsame law, in the self- 
same place, where he saith, that the tithes ought to be given to Levites, 
saith also to the liCvites, " You shall be contented with the offering of the tithes, 
and have none other thing amongs^t your brethren. "* Wherefore, seeing that 
the priests be bound to the not having of temporal lordships, how are the lay 
people bound by that law (of God, he meaneth, and not of man), to the pay- 
ment of tithes ?* 

Thirdly, as touching circumcision, which is one of the greater ceremonies of Circum- 
the law, and was given before the law, and was an universal ceremony concern- "^"'"".v . 
ing the covenant between God and his people, and was so much regarded in jrgo, the 
the law, that thereof it was said, "The soul, whose flesh shall not be circum- ccrcmo- 
cised in the foreskin, shall perish from among his people :" yet did this cere- "j^g/* 
mony utterly cease at the coming of Christ, although certain of the Jews did 
say in the primitive church, that the Christians must needs keep the conmiand- 
mcnt of circumcision with the faith ; whom Paul reproveth, writing thus to 
the Cialatians [chapter iv.], where he speaketh of the children of the bond- , 
woman and of the free-woman, which (io signify tiie two Testaments : " But 
we, O brethren, are the children of the promise after Isaac ; but like as at that 
time he that was born after the flesh, did persecute him which was after the 
spirit, even so it is now also. But what saith the Scripture ? Throw out the 

(I) Bound, ai .1 matter of rclifrion. or »« by the neceuity uf God's Uw, and not man's : bat 11 i.v 
tithes atand by man'i law, and not by the old law. 

(21 He meaneth. that necessity of tithei which itarideth by the necessity of the old law, to cense. 

1 3 \t tilliet be claimed by force uf the old law, by the lamr law priests are bound to have iin 

(41 lie pr.iveth not contr.iry. but that tithes be due by the profitable I,iw ufinaui although nut 
bv th" ccnmonial bw of Mov.s. 






from the 
of the 

wrest re- 
ligion to 
their own 

. Tithes 
not ex- 
anew by 
in the 

not re- 
quired in 
the primi- 

due, to be 
paid by 
the law • 
of men. 

bondwoman and Iter son. The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the 
son of the free-woman. Wherefore brethren, we are not tlie sons of the bond- 
woman, but of the free. Stand ye steadfast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath 
delivered you, and be not ye holden again under the yoke of slavery. Behold, 
I Paul say unto you, if you be circumcised, Christ shall nothing profit you. For 
I testify again, to every man that circumciseth himself, that he is bound to keep 
all the whole law. Ye are utterly void of Christ : whosoever will be justified 
in the law, are f^vllen from grace." 

In like manner we may reason, if we be bound to tithing, • we are debtors and 
bound to keep all the whole law. For to say, that men are bound to one cere- 
mony of the law, and not to the others, is no reasonable saying. Either there- 
fore we are bound to them all, or to none. Also, that by the same old law, men 
are not bound to pay tithes,'' it may be showed by many reasons, which we need 
not any more to multiply and increase, because the things that be said are suf- 
ficient. Whereupon some do say, that by the gospel we are bound to pay 
tithes, because Christ said to the Pharisees, [Matt, xxiii.] " Wo be to you 
Scribes and Pharisees, which pay your tithe of mint, of anise-seed, and of cum- 
min, and leave judgment, mercy, and truth undone, being the weightier things 
of the law ; both should ye have done these things, and also not have left the 
other undone. O ye blind guides, that strain out a gnat, and swallow up a 
camel." This word soundeth not as a commandment, or manner of bidding, 
whereby Christ did command tithes to be given ; but it is a word of disallowing 
the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who, of covetousness, did weigh and esteem 
tithes because of their own singular commodity, rather than other great and 
weighty commandments of the law. And me seemeth that our men are in the 
same predicament of the Pharisees, who do leave off all the ceremonies of the 
old law, keeping only the commandment of tithing. 

It is manifest and plain enough, by the premises and by other places of the 
Scripture, that Christ was a priest after the order of Melchisedec, of the tribe of 
Judah, not of the tribe of Levi, who gave no new commandment of tithing of 
any thing to him and to his priests, whom he would place after him : but, 
when his apostles said to him, " Behold we leave all things, and have followed 
thee, what then shall we have?" he did not answer them thus, "Tithes shall be 
paid you ;" neither did he promise them a temporal, but an everlasting reward 
in heaven ; for he, both for food, and also apparel, taught his disciples not to be 
careful : " Be ye not careful for your life what ye shall eat, or for your body what ye 
shall put on. Is not the life of man more worth than the meat, and the body more 
worth than apparel ? Behold ye the birds of heaven, which do not sow, nor reap, 
neither yet lay up in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. And as 
for apparel, why should you be careful ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they 
grow; they labour not, neither do they spin,"&c. In conclusion he saith, "Be 
not ye careful, saying, What shall we eat ? or, What shall we drink? or. Wherewithal 
shall we be covered ? (for all these things do the Gentiles seek after ;) for your Fa- 
ther knoweth tliat you have need of all these things. First, therefore, seek ye for 
the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, and all these things shall be 
cast unto you." [Matt, vi.] And Paul, right well remembering this doctrine, 
instructeth Timothy, [1 Tim. vi.] and saith thus, " But we having food, and 
wherewithal to be covered, let us therewith be contented." And, as the Acts of 
the Apostles do declare in the first conversion of the Jews at Jerusalem, " Tliey 
had all things common, and to every one was division made, as need required." 
Neither did the priests make the tithes their own proper goods ; for like as it 
was not meet that the lay people, being converted, should have propriety of 
goods, even so neither that priests should have propriety of tithes. So that if 
the priests started back fi"om fervent charity, in challenging to themselves the 
propriety of tithes, it is no marvel of departing backward (as do the priests from 
the perfection of charity) also of the laity, to be willing to appropriate to them- 
selves the nine parts remaining after tithes. Wherefore, seeing that neither 
Christ, nor any of the apostles, commanded to pay tithes, it is manifest and 
plain, that neither by the law of Moses, nor by Christ's law, christian people 
are bound to pay tithes ; but, by the tradition of men, they are bound. 

By the premises now it is plain, that Christ did not undo the law, but by grace 

(1) " Bound in one thing ;" he meaneth, bound in all : either bound to all, or to none. 

(2) Here he expresseth his meaning plainly. 

THK UOITUISF. OK CHUlsr AM) OK 1 11 K I'Ol'K COM I'A It KD. 153 

did fulfil it. NotwithsUmdiiig, in the law many things were lawful, whicli in the Hichnnt 
tinu" of graco are tbrhiddeii ; and many tilings were then unlawful wliicli now "■ 
are lawful enough. For notiiing that is contrary to charity, is lawful to a "T Tj 
Christian. l"')] 

Let us now hear what manner of conmuindment.s Christ hath given us in the ^___1 
gosnel, without tlie ohservation of which commandments, charity shall not per- 
fectly be kept ; by whicli commandments Christ did not undo the old law, but 
did fulfil it ; by the obsej-vation idso of which commandmenta, he teacheth us 
to pass and go beyond the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, who 
thought themselves to keep the law most perfectly. This absolute and perfect 
righteousness, which we arc boiuid to have beyond the righteousness of the 
Pharisees and the Scribes, he teacheth in the liftli, sixth and seventh chapters of 
Matthew, which being heard and compared with the traditions made and com- Docinnc 
manded by the Roman prelates, it shall plainly appear, whether they be con- "f l^'irist, 
trary or no. Christ therefore saitli : " You have heard, that it was said to them ■^^ \^ („„. 
of the old time. Thou shall not kill ; for he that killeth shall be guilty of judg- trary to 
iiient. 15ut I say unto you, that every one that is angry with his brother shall {jj,^,,''^''' 
be in danger of judgment." [Matt. v. 21, 12U.] In this he doth teach that wi- tin.- pope 
ought not to be angry with our brethren ; not that he would undo this old com- "' ""'• 
mandment, " Thou shalt not kill," but the same should be the more perfectly 
observed. Again he saitli : " You have heard that it was said, thou shalt love 
thy friend, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, do 
well to them that hate you, pray for them that persecute and slander you, that 
you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; which maketh his 
sun to arise upon the good and the evil people, and raineth upon the just and 
unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward shall you have ? do 
not the publicans thus? And if you shall salute your brethren only, what great 
thing do ye .' do not the heathen thus also ? Be you therefore perfect, as also 
your heavenly Father is perfect." [Matt. v. 43 — 48.] 

Again Christ saith : " You have heard that it is said, an eye for an eye, a 
tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, see that you resist not evil ; but if any 
man shall strike you upon the right cheek, give him the other too. And to him 
that will strive with thee for thy coat in judgment, let him have thy cloak also. 
And whosoever shall constrain thee one mile, go with him also two others. He 
that asketh of thee, give him ; and he that will borrow of thee, turn not thyself 
from him." [Matt. vi. 38 — 42.] 

By these things it may plainly appear how that Christ, the king of peace, the Doctrine 
Saviour of mankind, who came to save, and not to destroy, who gave a law of °*^9''5''l,' 
chanty to be observed by his faitliiul people, natli taught us not to be angry, popecom- 
not to hate our enemies, nor to render evil for evil, nor to resist evil : for all these pared, 
things do foster and nourish peace and charity, and do proceed and come forth 
of charity ; and when tliey be not kept, charity is loosed, and peace is broken. 
But the bishop of Home approveth and alloweth wars, and slaughters of men in 
war, as well against our enemies, that is, the infidels, as also against the Chris- 
tians, for temporal goods. Now, these tilings are qiute contrary to Christs 
doctrine, and to charity, and to peace. 

In the decree 23. q. 1. cap. " Paratus," it is taught, that the precepts of pa- Olosiof 
tience must always be retained in purpose of the heart ; so that patience, with "i^^^"* 
benevolence, must be kept in the mind secret. But apparently and manifestly cii. 
that thing shoidd be done which seemetli to do good to those, whom we ought 
to wish well unto; wherein they give to understand, that a Christian may fn-ely 
defend himself And for confinnation of this saying they do say, that Christ, 
when he was stricken on the face by the high bishop's servant, did not f\dfil, if 
we look uiK)n the words, his own commandment; becaiuse he gave not to the 
smiter the other part, but rather did forbid him, that he should not do it, to 
double his injury. For he said, " If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the 
evil ; but if well, why dost thou strike me.'"' I do marvel of this saying, for, 
first, if those commandments of patience must be kept in secret in the mind, 
niid seeing the body doth work at the motion of the mind, and is and ought to 

(n Chri.4t, in aniwering to his striker, did not break his rule of patience outwardly. The precept 
of Christ to turn the ulbcr check, hath a privy comparison ; ns if Iw wnuld say, rathir U- you con- 
tent to sufftr rwo Howt, than to revenge one. 



Richard be moved and ruled by the same, it must then needs be, that if patience be in 
II- the mind, it must appear also outwardly in the body. 

Secondly, I marvel that it is said, that Christ did not fulfil his own precept of 

-^' ^- patience : for it is manifest, that albeit he, teaching always as a good school-mas- 
ter those things which were fit for the salvation of souls, speaking the wholesome 

trine ol' 



War in 
case al- 

This arti- word of instruction to the higli bishop's servant smiting liim unjustly, did neither 
^® °^ by word forbid another stroke to be given on the other cheek, neither did he 
must defend himself bodily from striking on the same cheek ; but, speaking to him, 
have are- jt jg likelv that he gave him the other cheek; he meaneth, that he turned not 
the°doc° the other' cheek away. For a man turneth not away from him whom he speaketh 
to, or whom he infonneth ; but layeth open before him all his face : even so do 
I believe that Christ did, that he might fulfil in very deed that which before he 
had taught in word. Neither yet did Christ, by his word, or by his deed, show 
any thing of defence, or of bodily resistance. 

Thirdly, I marvel why wise men, leaving the plain and manifest doctrine of 
Christ,' whereby he teacheth patience, do seek corners of their own imagining, 
to the intent they may approve fightings and wars. Why mark they not after 
what manner Christ spake to Peter, striking the high bishop's servant, saying, 
" Put up thy sword into the sheath, for every one that shall take the sw'ord, 
shall perish wath the sword?" But in another case we must make resistance; 
which case may be so righteous, as it is for a man's lord and master being a most 
righteous man, and yet suffering injury of mischievous persons. 

Fourthly, I marvel, seeing that we are bound of charity, and by the law of 
Christ, to give our lives for our brethren, how they can allow such manner of 
dissensions and resisting ;2 for when thy brother shall maliciously strike thee, 
Patience thou mayest be sure, that he is manifestly fallen from charity, into the snare of 
com- the devil. If thou shalt keep patience, he shall be ashamed of his doing, and 
inTrivate tbou mayest bow and bend him to repentance, and take him out from the 
causes snare of the devil, and call him back again to charity. If thou resist, and per- 
amongst chg^ce by resistance doth strike again, his iiiry shall be the more kindled, and 
tians. he, being stirred up to greater wrath, peradventiu-e shall either slay thee, or 
thou him. Touching thyself, thou art uncertain, if thou go about to make resist- 
ance, whether thou shalt fall from charity, and then shalt thou go backward 
from the perfection of Christ's commandment. Neither dost thou know but that 
it may happen thee so greatly to be moved, as that, by the heat and violence of 
wrath, thou shalt slay him. Whereas, if thou wouldst dispose thyself to patience, 
as Christ teacheth, thou shouldst easily avoid all these mischiefs, as well on the 
behalf of thy brother, as also of thine own part. Wherefore the observing of 
charity, as the precept of patience, is to be observed. 

Fifthly, I do marvel why, for the allowing of this corporal resistance, he doth 

say in the same chapter, that Paul did not fulfil the precept of the patience of 

Christ, when he, being stricken in the place of judgment by the commandment 

break the of the high priest, did say, " God strike thee, O thou painted wall : dost thou sit 

^^^- ?^ ., to iudge me according to the law, and dost thou command me to be stricken 
christian •'. ° , , „,, t • •<• i t> i i • • i ■ i i 

patience, agamst the law ? It is manliest that Paul made resistance m nothing, though 

neither }^g spake a word of instruction to the priest, who against the law commanded 

bod'ifyTe^ him to be stricken. And if Paul had overpassed the bounds of patience, through 

sistance. the grief of the stroke, what of that? Miist the deed of Paul's impatience for 

this cause be justified, and the commandment of patience taught by Christ be 

left undone for Paul's deed, and coi-poral resistance be allowed 1 God forbid. For 

both Paul and Peter might err; but in the doctrine of Christ there may be 

found no erroi'. Wherefore we must give more credence and belief to Christ's 

The fact sayings, than to any living man's doings. Wherefore, although Paul had re- 

either of sisted, which I do not perceive in that Scripture, it followeth not thereof, that 

any otiier, Corporal resistance must be approved, which is of Christ expressly forbidden. I 

doth not much marvel that always they seek corners and shadows to justify their deeds. 

derogate w}|y (Jq they not mark what great things Paul reciteth himself to have suffered 

doctrine for Christ? and where, I pray you, have they found that he, after his conversion, 

of our struck any man that did hurt him ? or where do thej' find that he in express 

Saviour. ^Qj.^g ^q^\^ teach such a kind of corporal resistance ? But, as touching patience, 

he saith in plain words to the Romans, [chap. xii. 16 — 21,] " Be not wise in 

(1) The cause here again of Christ was private, and his doctrine is to be understood in private 
cases. (2) He meaneth resistance for private causes, or for worldly goods. 

Paul he- 

did not 


your own conceits : renrtir ill for ill to nobody; providing good things not only luchani 
bcfort' (lod, but also bit'ori- all nu:i, if it be possible. Be at peace with all folks, '^• 
as much as in you lifth ; not defendiii}; yourselves, my most dearly beloved, ~T I" 
but {,nve you place unto ani,'er: for it is written, Ven>^eancc is mine ; and I will ^j ', ' 
recompense them, saitli the I^ord. Hut if thine inemy shall bean hungered, give 
him meat ; if he be athirst, give him drink : for thus doing, thou shall heap 
coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome thou evil 
with good." 

To the Corinthians [1 Cor. vi.], as touching judgment and contention,' which 
arc matters of less weight than arc fightings, thus be writeth: " Now verily there 
is great fault in you, that you be at law amongst yourselves : why rather take 
ye not wrong ? why rather sufler ye not deceit !" And generallv, in all his 
epistles, he teacheth that patience should be kept, and not corporal resistance by 
fighting, becatise charity is patient, it is courteous, it sutlereth all things. I 
mar\'el how they justify and make good the wars by Christians, saving only the 
wars against the devil and sin ; for, seeing that it is ])lain that tliose things which 
were in the Old Testament were figures of things to be done in the New Testa- 
ment, therefore, we must needs say, that the corporal wars being then done, were Corporal 
figures of the christian wars against sin and the devil, for the heavenly country, ^^* '" 
which is our inheritance. It is plain that it was written thus by Christ : "The xcsta- 
mighty Lord, and of great power in battle, hath girded himself in force and ment, be 

manliness to the war; and he came not to send i)eace into the earth, but war." ^'^^"■'^. ?'' 
T 1 • 1 1 • • I I II- 1- ■ 1.1 '■"-■ »P'n- 

In this war ought christian peoj)le to be soldiers, aceordmg to that manner which mai wars 

Paul teacheth to the Kphcsians, [chap. vi. 1 1 — 17.] " Put upon you the armour '» "'« 

of Cfod, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For we tanrcnt'^^'' 

have not to wrestle against flesh and blood, but against princes and potestates, against 

against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in "l"^'"*-! 

heavenly things, which are in the high places. Wherefore take ye the armour of 

God, that ye may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand perfectly in all 

things. Stand you, therefore, girded about with tnith upon your loins, having put 

upon you the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod in a readiness to 

the gosjiel of peace; in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may 

quench all the fiery darts of that wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of 

salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." 

By these things it is plain, what are the wars of Christians, and what are the ^Vhat be 

weapons of their warfare. And because it is manifest, that this testament is of 'hi- wars 

■-.,,„ ,. , f. 1 1 most uro- 

greater perfection than the former, we now fignt more perfectly tiian at per to 

that time : for now spiritually, then corporally ; now for an heavenly everlast- 9"^'*" 

ing inheritance, then for an earthly and temporal ; now by patience, then by '*"'' 

resistance. For Christ saith, " Blessed are they that suffer persecution for 

righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." [Mat. v. 10.] He saith 

not, Blessed are they that fight for righteousness.' How can a man say that 

they may lawfully make war and kill their brethren for the temporal goods, 

which peradventure they unjustly occupy, or unjustly intind to occupy ? for he 

that killeth another to get those goods which another body unjustly occupiefh, 

doth love more the verj' goods than his own brother; and then he, falling from 

charity, doth kill himself spiritually : if he go forward without charity to make Note 

war, then doth he evil, and to his own danniation. Wherefore he doth not law- Jj'ij*,*^^^' 

fully nor justly in proceeding to the djunnation of his own self and his brother, charity. 

whom, though he seem unjiLstly to occupy his goods, yet he doth intend to kill. 

And what if such kind of wars^ were lawful to tlie Jews? this argneth not, 

that now they are lawful to Christians : because their deeds were in a shadow of 

imperfection, but the deeds of Christians in the light of ])crfection. It was not 

said unto them, " All peo])le that shall take the sword, shall perish with the 

sword.' What if John the Baptist disidlowed coq»oral fightings, and corporal Howjuhn 

warfiire, at such time as tlte soldiers asked him, saying, " .Vnd what sh.ul we B^p''*' 

do ?" who saitJi to them, " See that you strike no man, neither pick ye <piarrels ,j^ "^ 

against any, and be ye contented with your wages." This saying of John 

(1) He raeancth such wars of Christians, a» the Po]>e allovrcth, risinf; rather from private revenge 
or princes, foi worldly glory or alTcction, than for any public necessity. 

(2) All this taki-'th not away the lawfulness of wars in case of public necessity, but only ir. pri- 
vate case for temporal goods. * 

(3) " Such kind of wars." that is, such kind as be for private revenge of temporal good^. 





that be 
least in 
the king- 
dom of 


alloweth not corporal warfare amongst Christians ; for John was of the priests of 
the Old Testament, and under the law ; neither to him it appertaineth, not to 
follow the law, but to warn the people to the perfect observation of the law : for 
he, being likewise demanded by the pubhcans what they should do, said unto 
them, " Do no other thing than is appointed unto you." But Christ, the author 
of the New Testament and of greater perfection than was the perfection of the 
old law, gave new things, as it plainly appeareth by the gospel ; so that Chris- 
tians ought to receive information fi-om Christ, not from John. For of John 
also doth Christ speak, " Verily I say unto you, there hath not risen amongst 
the children of women, a greater than John Baptist ; but he that is least in the 
kingdom of Heaven is greater than he :" in which saying, Christ showeth that 
those that be least in the kingdom of Heaven in the time of grace, are placed iu 
greater perfection than was John, who was one of them that were the elders ; 
and he lived also in the time of the law in greater perfection. And when cer- 
tain of John's disciples said unto him, " Master, he that was beyond Jordan, to 
whom thou gavest witness, behold, he baptizeth, and all people come imto him :" 
. John answered and said, " A man cannot take any thing upon him, unless it 
shall be given him from above. You yourselves do bear me record, that I said, 
I am not Christ, but that I was sent before him. He that hath the bride, is the 
bridegroom ; as for the bridegroom's friend, who standeth and heareth him, he 
rejoiceth with great joy to hear the voice of the bridegi-oom. This therefore my 
joy is fulfilled ; he must increase, and I must be diminished. He that cometh 
from on high, is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of 
the earth: he that cometh from Heaven, is above all folks; that which he 
hath seen and heard, the same doth he witness, and yet his witnessing doth no 
body receive. But he that receiveth his witnessing, hath put to his seal, that 
God is true. For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God." 

By which things it plainly appeareth, that credence is to be given neither to 
John, nor yet to an angel, if he teach any thing that is not agreeable to Christ's 
doctrine. For Christ is above the angels, because God infinitely passeth them in 
wisdom. Now, if Moses the servant of God, a minister of the Old Testament, 
was so much to be believed, that nothing could be added to, nor yet any thing 
diminished from, the commandments that were given by him (for so Moses had 
said, " The thing that I command thee, that do thou only to the Lord, neither add 
thou any thing, nor diminish,") how much more ought we not to add nor to 
take away from the commandments given by God himself, and also the Son of 
God ? In the primitive church, because the Christians had ferveiit love and 
charity, they observed these precepts as they were given ; but their fervent cha- 
rity afterwards waxing lukewarm, they invented glosses, by drawing the com- 
mandments of God back to their own deeds, which they purposed to justify and 
maintain ; that is to say, wars against the infidels.* But that they, by wars, 
should be converted to the faith, is a fact faithless enough : because that by vio- 
lence, or unwillingly, nobody can believe in Christ, nor be made a Christian, 
neither did he come to destroy them by battle that believed not in him ; for he 
said to his disciples, " You know not what spirit you are of. The Son of man 
came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Then, to grant pardons 
and forgiveness of sins to those that kill the infidels, is too much an infidel's fact, 
seducing many people ; for what greater seducing can there be, than to promise 
to a man forgiveness of sins, and afterwards the joy of Heaven, for setting him- 
self against Christ's commandments in the killing of the infidels, that would not 
be converted to the faith 1 whereas Christ doth say, " Not every one that saith 
to vce, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the 
will of my Father which is in Heaven, this person shall enter into the kingdom 
of Heaven." Now the will of the Father is, that we should believe in his only 
Son Jesus Christ, and that we should obey him by observing of those things 
which he himself hath commanded. Wherefore Christ's precepts of patience 
must be fulfilled ; wars, fightings, and contentions must be left, because they 
are contrary to charity. 

But peradventure some man will thus reason against Christ : " The saints, by 
whom God hath wrought miracles, do allow wars as well against the faithfxd 

(1) He meaneth those wars against infidels, stirred up and procured by the pope, upon blind su- 
perstition, to fight for the Holy Land, and not taken byprinces in the necessary defence of themselves 
and of their country. 


people, as also against the infidelit ; and the holy kings were warriors, for whose Richard 

sakes nuracles also have been showed, a-« well in their death, iis also in their il:__ 

life, yea in the very time wlierein they were at warfare : wherefore it seenieth A. D. 
that their facts were good and lawful ; for, otherwise, God would not have done 1391. 
miracles for them. " An^weT 

To this ajrain I say, that we for no miracles must do contrary to the doctrines Lepii,u8 
of Christ, for in it can there be no error; but in miracles there oftentimes at;<.-ndum 
chanceth error,' as it is plain as well by the Old, as by the New Testament. "°"," 
God forbid tlien tliat a Christian should, for deceivable miracles, depart from the 
infallible doctrine of Clirist. In E.\odus [chapter vii.] it is manifest, how that 
the wicked wise men of the Egyptians, throui,'h the enchantments of Egypt, and 
certain secret workings, threw their wands upon the earth, which were turned 
into dragons ; even as Aaron, before time, in the presence of I'haraoh, threw 
his wanu upon the earth, which, by the power of God, was tunied into a ser- 
pent. In the first book of Kings, [chapter xxii.] Micaiah did see the Lord 
"sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing about him on thi' 
right hand and on the left. And the Lord said, Who shall deceive Ahab the 
king of Israel, that he may go up and be slain in liamoth-gilciul ( .\nd one said 
this way, and another otherwise. Now there went forth a spirit, and stood be- Aliab de- 
fore the Lord, and said, I will deceive him. To whom the Lord spake : By ^Jj/'lfJ'. 
what means ? And he said, I will go forth, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of phets. 
all his prophets. And the Lord said. Thou shalt deceive him and prevail : go 
thy wavs forth, and do even so." Thus also it is written in Deuteronomy: " If 
there shall arise a prophet amongst you, or one that shall say, he hath seen a 
dream, and shall foretell a sign and a wonder; and if that shall come to pass 
that he hath spoken, and he shall say unto thee. Let us go and follow strange 
gods (whom thou knowest not), and let us serve them, thou shalt not hearken 
unto the words of that prophet or dreamer; for the Lord your God temptcth 
you, to make it known whether ye love him or no, with all your heart, and with 
all your soul." 

In JereniT, [chap, xxiii.], " Are not my words even like fire, saith the Prophet* 
Lord ? and like a hammer that breaketh the stone?" " Therefore, behold, I will [^"'^'^y 
come against the prophets which have dreamed a lie, saith the Lord, which doctrine, 
have showed those things, and have seduced the people through their lies and 
their miracles, when I sent them not, neither commanded them ; which have 
brought no profit unto this people, saith the Lord." In Mark [chapter xiii.], False 
saith Christ, " For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall prophet;^ 
show great signs and wonders, to deceive, if it were possible, even the very 
elect." Paul [2 Cor. xi.], "Such false apostles are deceitful workers, trans- 
forming themselves into the apostles of Christ." And no marvel, for even Satan 
transformeth lumself into an angel of light ; therefore it is no great thing 
though his ministers transform themselves, as though they were the ministers 
of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works. 

In the .\pocalypse [chapter xiii.], John saw ''a beast ascending up out ot 
the earth, and it had two horns like a lamb, but he spake like the dragon, and 
he did all that the first beast could do before him ; and he caused the earth and 
the inhabitants thereof to worship the first beast, wliose deadly wound was 
healed, and did great wonders, so that he made fire come down Irom heaven on 
the earth, in the sight of men, and di>ceived them that dwell on the earth, by 
means of the signs which were permitted to him to do in the sight of the 

'^'^"•'''•" Ml 

By these things it is most manifest and plain, that in miracles this manifold "^'"^^ 
error oftentimes happeneth, through the working of the devil, to deceive the tried. 
people withal ; wherefore we ought not for the working of miracles, to depart from 
the commandments of (Jod. I would to God that they who put confidence in 
miracles, would give heed unto the word of Christ, in thus speaking [Matthew, 
cha]). vii.], " Many shall say unto me in that day. Lord, Lord, have we not in 
thy name prophesied ? and in thv name cast out de\nls, and in thy name done 
many great works .'" &-c. " I will profess unto them, I never knew you, depart 
from me, all ye which work iniquity " 

By this saying it is most manifest that the servants of Christ are not discerned by 

il) True miracle* here of holy men not disproved, but f peaking universally, the stable doctrine 
and word of God is the sure rule for men to follow. 


Richard Working of miracles, but by tlie working of virtues, departing from iniquity, and 

^^- obeying the commandments of God. Wherefore it is wonderful, that any in 

^ Q tliis life dare presume to prevent the day of the judgment of God, to judge by 

139l' ™6ans of miracles, that some are saints ; whom men ought to worship; whom, 

peradventure, God will in the last judgment condemn, saying, " Depart from 

-„_ _ii ...u;„i, , .,„,.!, ;.,;,., .;i.. '• Ti' ^^ i _.^ ii_ i. i _ ^i 


The ser- me all ye which work iniquity." If any man could here on earth judge sinners 
Christ"^ to be condemned ; then, if this judgment were certain, Christ should not judge 
discerned the second time ; and whatsoever such judges bind in earth, the same ought to 
i'n '^"it'^'f ^^ l^ound in Heaven. But if such a judgment be uncertain, then it is perilous 
mfrrcles) ^"d full of deceit, when by it men on earth may, instead of saints, worship such 
but of as are damned with the fellowship of the devils, and in prayer require their aid, 
virtues. Tf/\^Q^ even like as the devils their companions, are more ready, and more of might, 
women *° ^^^^ ^^]^^ *P g°*"^' "^o^^ ^o hurt than to profit. I wonder they mark not 
are not what Christ said, when his kinswoman came unto him, desiring and requiring 
"'*!''y*'' something of him, and saying, " Command that these my two sons may sit one 
''•'"'^'' upon thy right hand, and the other upon tliy left hand in thy kingdom. But 
Jesus answering, said. Ye know not what ye ask, can ye di-ink of the cup which 
I shall drink of? They said unto him, We can. He said unto them. Of my cup 
indeed ye shall drink, but to sit at my right hand, or at my left, it is not mine 
to give, but unto whom it is prepared of my Father." Christ, being equal 
unto the Father according to his Godhead, and exceeding all manner of men, 
according to his manhood, namely in goodness and wisdom ; said, " To sit at 
my right hand, or at my left, is not mine to give, but unto whom it is prepared 
of my Father." If it were none of his to give, "to sit at the right hand, or at 
the left," &c., how then is it in the power of any sinful man to give unto any 
man a seat, either on the right hand, or on the left, in the kingdom of God, which 
sinful man knoweth not whether such have any seat prepai-ed for them of the 
Father in his kingdom ? They much extol themselves, who exercise this judi- 
cial power in giving judgment that there are some saints who ought to be 
honoured by men, by reason of the evidences of dreams, or of deceitful miracles; 
of which men they are ignorant, whether God in his judgment will con- 
demn them or not, together with the devils for ever to be tormented. Let them 
beware, for the infallible Truth saith, that " every one that exalteth himself 
shall be brought low." 

By these things is gathered that the wars of Christians are not lawfid ;i for 
that by the doctrine and life of Christ they are prohibited, by reason of the evi- 
dence of the deceitful miracles of those who have made wars amongst the 
Christians, as well against the Christians, as also against the infidels : because 
Christ could not err in his doctrine, forasmuch as he was God; and forasmuch 
as heaven and earth shall pass away, but the words of Christ shall not pass away. 
He, therefore, who establisheth his laws, allowing wars and the slaughter of men 
in the war, as well of Christians as of infidels, doth he not justifythose things 
which are contrary to the gospel and law of Christ? Tlierefore in this he is 
against Christ, and therefore Antichrist, seducing the people, and maldng men 
believe that to be lawful and meritorious unto them, which is expressly pro- 
hibited by Christ. 

And thus much concerning the first part, touching peace and war, 
wherein he declareth Christ and the pope to be contrary, that is, tlic 
one to be given all to peace, the other all to war, and so to prove, in 
conclusion, the pope to be Antichrist : where, in the mean time, thou 
must understand, gentle reader, his meaning rightly ; not that he so 
thinketh no kind of wars among Christians in any case to be law- 
ful, for he himself before hath openly protested the contrary ; but 
that his purpose is, to prove the pope in all his doings and teachings 
more to be addicted to war than to peace, yea, in such cases where is 

(1) This proposition of Walter Brute, concerning the wars of Christians not to be lawful, is not 
to be taken universally, but in particular case, as he meaneth, which is this, that such wars al- 
lowed by the pope, not for the necessary defence of public peace, liberty, and safeguard of our coun- 
tries, or against public injuries offered ; but only to go and kill the infidels, because tliey believi- 
not, having no other cause, those wars of the pope he liketh not. 

wnil HIS CODI.V DlCIAHAl ION'S. 159 

necessity of war ; aim tlifriin j)rovetli he tlic |)opc t(» be contrary H'chard 
Christ, that is, to be Antieiirist. '— - 


Now he proceedetli further to the seeoiul jjarl, which is of mercy ; A. D. 
in which part he showelh how Christ teaeheth us to be merciful, " be- 
cause mercy," as he saith, " proceedeth from charity, and nourisheth 

In this doctrine of mercy, Christ breakcth not the law of righteousness, for he Doctrine 
hiinst'lf, by mercy, hath cleansed us from our sins, from which we could not by "'^ '"''"'' 
tlie righteousness of the law be cleansed. But whom he hath made clean by mercy de- 
mercy, und()iil)tedly it hehoveth those same to be also merciful; for in Matthew dared, 
[chap, v.] he saith, " Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." And 
again in Matthew [chaj). vi.], he saith, " If ye forgive unto men tiieir sins, 
your Father will forgive unto you your sins." And again in Matthew [chap. 
vii.J, "Judge not and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be 
condemned; and with what measure ye measure, with the s;imc shall it be mea- 
sured unto you again." In Matthew [chap, xviii.], Peter asked the Lord, 
saying, " Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and shall I forgive 
him.' seven times? Jesus said luito him, I .say not unto thee seven times, but 
seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of Heaven likened unto a cer- 
tain king, which wovdd take account of his servants. And when he had begun 
to reckon, one was brought unto liim which oweth him ten thousand talents; 
ami because he had nothing wherewitlial to pay, his master conunanded him to 
be sold, and his wife ami liis children, and all that he had, and the debt to be 
paid. The servant therefore fell down, and besought him, saying, Have 
patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord had pity on that servant, 
and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But when the servant was de- 
parted, he foimd one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence, 
and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying. Pay me that 
thou owest; and his fellow fell down, and besought him, saying, Have 
patience with me, and I will pay thee all. But he would not, but went and cast 
him into prison, till he should pay the debt. And when his other fellows saw 
the things that were done, they were very sorry, and came and declared unto 
their master all that was done. Then his master called him, and said unto him, 
O thou ungracious servant, I forgave thee all that debt when thou desiredst Mercy 
me : oughtest thou not then also to have sucli pity on thy fellow, even as I had "''"'* P''^ 
pity on thee ? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him unto the gaolers, mended, 
till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly 
Father do unto you, except ye forgive from your hearts each one his brother 
their trespasses." 

By this doctrine it is most plain and manifest, that every Christian ought to Necess*- 
be merciful unto his brother, how often soever he ofi'endcth against him : be- J.^ *? *"' we, so often as we oti'end, do ask mercy of God. Wherefore, forasmuch tians. 
as our offence against (iod is far more grievous than any offence of our brother 
against us, it is plain that it behoveth us to be mercifid unto our brethren, if we 
will have mercy at Ciod's hand. But, contrary to this doctrine of mercy, the The pope 
Romish bishop maketh and confirmeth many laws, which punish oti'eiulers, even 5°*^!."!^. 
unto the death; as it is plain by the process of the decrees, distin. 23, quest. 5. inshow- 
" It is declared and determined, that to kill men ' ex officio,' that is, having au- '"^ "*"" 
thorify and power so to do, is not sin;" and again, " The soldier who is obe- '^^ 
dientunfo the higher power, and so killeth a man, is not guilty of murder ; ' and 
again, " He is the minister of the Lord, who smiteth the evil in that they are 
evil, and killeth them." And many other such like things are, throughout the 
whole process of that question, determined: that for certain kinds of sins men 
ought, by the rigour of the law, to be punished even unto death. But tlu? 
foundation of their saying they took out of the old law, in which, for divers 
transgressions, were appointed clivers punishment.s. It is very wonderful 
unto me, why that wise men, being the authors and makers of laws, do always, 
for the foundation of their sayings, look upon the shadow of the law, and not 
the light of the gospel of Je.sus Christ ; for they give not heed unto the fitnirc 
of perfection, nor yet unto (he perfection figured. Is it not WTitten in John iii., 


Richard " God seiit not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but to save the world 

-^-f- by him?" In John viii., "The Scribes and Pharisees bring in a woman taken in 

. 1^ adultery, and set her in the midst, and said unto Christ, Master, even now 

l^'gi" this woman was taken in adultery. But in the law, Moses hath commanded us 

1_ to stone such : what sayest thou therefore ? This they said to tempt him, that 

they miglit accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on 

the ground. And while they continued asking him, he lift himself up, and said 

unto them, Let him that is among you without sin, cast the first stone at her. 

And again he stooped and wrote on the ground. And when they heard it, they 

Themak- went out one by one, beginning at the eldest : so Jesus was left alone, and the 

^J^ °^ , woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lift up himself again, he said 

law follow unto her. Where be they which accused thee ? hath no man condemned thee ? 

not the She said. No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee, 

rule^'^' go thy way, and sin now no more." 

It is manifest by the Scriptures, that Christ was promised he should be king 

of the Jews, and imto the kings pertained the judgments of the law : but 

because he came not to judge sinners according to the rigour of the law, but 

came according to grace, to save that which was lost, in calling the sinner to 

repentance, it is most plain, that in the coming of the law of gi-ace, he would 

have the judgment of the law of righteousness to cease ; for otherwise he had 

dealt unjustly with the aforesaid woman, forasmuch as the witnesses of her 

adultery bare witness against her. Wherefore, seeing the same King Christ 

was a judge, if it had been his will that the righteousness of the law should be 

observed, he ought to have adjudged the woman to death, according as the law 

commanded;* which thing, forasmuch as he did not, it is most evident that the 

judgments of the righteousness of the law are finished in the coming of the 

King, being King of the law of grace ; even as the sacrifices of the priesthood 

of Aaron are finished in the coming of the Priest, according to the order of 

Melchisedec, who hath oflTered himself up for our sins ; because, as it is before 

said, neither the righteousness of the law, nor sacrifices for sin, brought any 

man to perfection : wherefore it was necessary that the same, by reason of 

Whether their imperfection, should cease. And seeing among all the laws of the world, 

cialiaw'of ^^^ ^^^^ °^ Moses was most just, forasmuch as the author thereof was God, who 

Moses is the most just judge ; and by that law always look, what manner of injiuy one 

fully (now }^^^ done unto another, contrary to the commandment of the law, the like 

coming of injury he should I'eceiye for his transgression, according to the upright judgment 

Christ) of the law ; as death for death, a blow for a blow, burning for burning, wound 

in^force' ^°^ wound, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, and most just punishments were ordained 

or not. ' according to the quantity of the sins : but if this law of righteousness be clean 

The law taken away in the coming of the law of grace, how then shall the law of the 

ofaliliiws Gentiles remain among Christians, which was never so just? Is not this true, 

mostjust. that in them who are converted unto the faith, there is no distinction between 

the Jew and the Grecian ? for both are under sin, and are justified by grace in 

the faith of Christ, being called unto faith, and unto .the perfection of the gospel. 

If therefore the Gentiles converted are not bound to play the Jews, to follow 

the law of the Jews, why should the Jews converted, follow the laws of the 

Gentiles which are not so good? Wherefore it is to be wondered at,^ why 

thieves are, among Christians, for theft put to death, when after the law of Moses 

they were not put to death. Christians suffer adulterers to live, Sodomites, and 

they who curse father and mother, and many other horrible sinners ; and they 

who according to the most just law of God were condemned to death, are not 

put to death. So we neither keep the law of righteousness given by God, nor 

the law of mercy taught by Christ. 

Wherefore the law-makers and judges do not give heed imto the aforesaid 
sentence of Christ unto the Scribes and Pharisees, who said, " He which 
amongst you is without sin, let him cast the first stone at her."^ What is he 

(1) Here is meant, and to be understood, not what public magistrates may do, in cases of right- 
eousness, but what ecclesiastical persons, according to the office of their profession, should do, in 
not revenging by death, as they do by offices. 

(2) His marvel is not so much, why thieves are put to death, but why the judicial law of Moses 
in this point is broken, and in other points is straitly kept. Mark his meaning ! 

(3) Take his meaning wisely, gentle reader. Walter Brute's mind is not so, that no magistrate, 
being not without sin, may punish a transgressor, but he speaketh against such churchmen, who, 
professing the rule of mercy, show no mercy at all, but all rigour by their law, ' ex officio.' 


tliat daretlj be so bold m to say, he is without sin, ju-a, and without a prievous Richard 
sin, when the transgression oi" the connnainhm iit of God is a j^rievous sin ? ''■ 
and who can say that lie nevor transgressed this eoniniandinent of (lod, " 'I'liou . r)~ 
shall love tliy neigliLoiir as thyself.' ' or the otiier eoniniandnient which is of log] 

greater force, " Thou shalt love the Lord tiiy (Jod with id! tliy heart," &c. 1- 

Wherefore tiiou, wliatsoever thou art, tliat judgest thy brother unto death, 
thinkest thou that tiiou shalt escape the judgment of (iod, who peradventure 
hast oti'ended more grievously llian hath he whom thou judgest i How scest 
thou a mote in tliy brother's eye, and seest not a beam in thine own eye ? 
Knowest thou not that with wiiat measure tliou measures!, that same shall be 
measured to you again .' Uoth not the Scripture say, " Unto me belongeth 
vengeance, and I will render again, saith the Lord .' " How can any man say 
that these men can with charity keep these judgments of death? Who is it 
that oll'endeth God, and desireth of God just judgment for his oHetice ? He 
desireth not judgment, but mercy. If he desire mercy for himself, why de- 
sireth he vengeance for his brother offending ? How therefore loveth he his 
brother as himsell'? or how dost thou show mercy unto thy brotJier, as thou 
art bouml by the commandment of Christ, who seekest the greatest vengeance 
upon him that thou canst infer unto him ? for death is llie most terrible thing 
of all, and a more grievous vengeance than death, can no man infer. Where- 
fore they who will keep charity, ought to observe the commandments of Christ 
touching mercy ; and they whu live in the law of charity,' ought to leave the 
law of vengeance' and judgments. 

Ought we to believe that Christ in his coming, by grace, abrogated the most 
just law which he himself gave unto the children of Israel by Moses his servant, 
and established the laws of the Gentiles, being not so just, to be observed by 
his taithful ? Doth not Daniel [chap, ii.] expound the dream of Nebuchad- 
nezzar the king, concerning the image, whose head was of gold, the breast and 
arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, one part of the 
feet of iron, and the other part of clay ? Nebuchadnezzar saw that a stone 
was cut out of a mountain, without hands, and strake the image in his feet of 
iron and of clay, and brake them to pieces. Then were the iron, the clay, the 
briiss, the silver, and gold, broken all together, and became like the chaff of the 
summer floor, which is carried away by the wind, and there was no place found 
for them; and tlie stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and 
lilled the whole earth. He applieth therefore four kingdoms unto the four parts The 
of the image ; namely, the kingdom of the Babylonians, unto the head of gold ; ''5'^^"' °^ 
the kingdom of the Niedes and Persians, unto the breast and anns of silver; ciiadncr- 
the kingdom of the Grecians, unto the belly and thighs of brass ; but the zar con- 
fourth kingdom, which is of the Romans, he applieth unto the feet and legs of ^""'"c 
iron. And Daniel addeth, " In the days of their kingdoms shall God raise up image, 
a kingdom which shall never be destroyed : and his kingdom shall not be deli- expound- 
vered unto another, but it shall break and destroy those kingdoms ; and it shall i)a„ici. 
stand for ever, according as thou sawest, that the stone was cut out of the 
mountain, without hands, and brake in pieces the clay and iron, brass, silver, 
and gold." Seeing therefore it is certain, that this stone signitieth Christ, whose 
kingdom is for ever ; it is also a thing most assured, that he ought to reign 
every where, and to break in pieces the other kingdoms of the world. Where- 
fore, if terrcstriid kings, and the teiTestrial kingdom of the Jews, and their laws 
and judgments, have ceased' by Christ the King calling the Jews unto the 
perfection of his gospel, namely, mito faith and charity; it is not to be doubted, 
but that the kingdom of the (Jentiles (which is more imperfect) and their laws, 
ought to cease among the (ientiles, departing from their Gentility unto the per- 
fection of the gospel of Je.sus Christ. For there is no distinction between the 
Jews and Gentiles being converted unto the faith <jf Christ ; but all of them, 
abiding in that eternal kingdom, ought to be under one law of charity and of 
virtue. Therefore they ought to have mercy, and to leave the judgments of 
death, and the desire of vengeance. Wherefore they who do make laws, mark 

(1) He nie.Micth, of the pnpe xnil of the cleffry. 

(2) H)! siicikfth against the dc«ire of revenge, not agaiait the execution of mccssory l.-iw done 
by moKiiiratcs 

i3) The juiliriaJ ncceiiity jf those laws he moAnelh to cease, nolwithiitandini; rhristiiiii princes 
may borrow txith out uf thosu lawi, and out of all otbcrt, what they think good and expedient for 
their comtiiunwcal. 

vol,, in. M 


Richard iiot the parable of Christ, saying, " The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man 

II- which sowed good seed in his field ; but when men were on sleep, the enemy 

A D came and sowed tares in the midst of the wheat, and went his way. But when 

1391 the herb was grown and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares. And the 

servants came unto the good man of the house, and said unto him. Lord ! didst 

not thou sow good seed in thy field ? from whence then come these tares? And 
he said unto them. The enemy hath done this. And the servants said unto 
him, Wilt thou that we go and gather them up ? And he said, No, lest perad- 
venture gathering up the tares, ye pluck up the wheat by the roots ; suflPer them 
both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest, I will say unto 
the harvest-men, gather first the tares and bind them in bundles, that they may 
be burnt, but gather the wheat into my barn," Christ himself expoundeth 
this parable in the self-same chapter, saying, " He which soweth the good 
seed is the Son of Man ; but the field is the world ; and the good seed, those are 
the children of the kingdom. But the tares are the naughty children ; and the 
enemy which soweth them is the devil. And the harvest is the end of the 
world; and the harvest-men are the angels. Even as, therefore, the tares are 
gathered and burnt with fire, so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son 
of Man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all 
offenders, and those which commit iniquity, and sliall put them into a furnace 
of fire ; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 

By which plain doctrine it is manifest, that Christ will have mercy showed 
to sinners, even unto the end of the world, and will have them to remain 
mingled with the good ; lest peradventure, when a man thinketh he doth right 
well to take away the tares, he taketh away the wheat.' For how great a sinner 
soever a man be, we know not whether his end shall be good, and whether in 
the end he shall obtain mercy of God ; neither are we certain of the time, 
wherein God will, by grace, judge him whom we abhor as a sinner. And, per- 
adventure, such a one shall more profit after his conversion in the church, than 
he whom we think to be just, as it came to pass in Paul. And if God justifieth 
a man by grace, although at his end, why darest thou be so bold to be his 
judge, and to condemn him? Yea rather, although a man seem to be obstinate 
and hardened in his evil (so that he is not corrected by a secret coiTection), 
correct him before one alone ; if he do not receive open correction, being done 
before two or three witnesses, neither do pass upon a manifest correction when 
his sin is made known unto the church, Christ doth not teach to punish such 
a one with the pxmishment of death. Yea rather, he saith, " If he hearken 
not unto the church, let him be unto thee as an ethnick and a publican." And 
Paul, following this doctrine, in 1 Cor. v., saith, " There goeth a common saying, 
that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not once named 
among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed 
up, and have not rather sorrowed, that he which hath done this deed might be 
put fi-om among you. For I, verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, 
have already determined, as though I were present, that he which hath done 
this thing, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that such a one, by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, be 
delivered unto Satan for the destiniction of the flesh, that the spirit may be 
saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." Paul teacheth not to kill this man, as 
some gatlier by this text, but to separate him from the other faithftd, and so 
from Christ, who is the head of the church of the faithful ; and so is he delivered 
unto Satan, who is separated from Christ, that the flesh may be killed, that is, 
that the carnal concupiscence, whereby he luxuriously lusted after the wife of 
his father, may be destroyed in him by such a separation, that the spirit may be 
saved : and not that his body should be killed, as some say ; as it is manifest in 
the self-same chapter, where he saith, " I wrote unto you an epistle, that you 
should not keep companj' with fornicators ; and I meant not of all the forni- 
cators of this world, either of the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, for 
then must ye needs have gone out of the world. But now I have written unto 
you, that ye keep not company together ; if any that is called a brother be a 
fornicator, or covetous person, or a worshipper of images, either a cursed speaker, 
or drunkard, or an extortioner : with him that is such, see that ye eat not." 

(!) His purpose is not that no evil doer sliould be punished in a commonwealth, but his relation 
is to the 23. quest. 5, aforesaid, notinj? causes of religion, whicli the pope and his prelates are wont 
to punish with death, taking many times for tares that which is pure wheat. 


By whicli it is niaiiifest, that Paul would have the aforesaid fornicator sepa- RicharU 
rated fiuin the fellowship of tlie faithful ; that his carnal concupiscence might •''• 
be mortified, for the healtli of the spirit, and not that the body should he killed : . tx 
wherefore they do ill understand Paul, who by this sayinj^ do confirm the killing im.i 

of men. And forasmuch as lieresy is one of the most grievous sins' (for a - '— 

heretic leadeth nun into errors, whereby they are made to stray from faith, 
without which they cannot be saved), it doth most great hurt in the church. 

Further, as concerning such a wicked man, Paul thus speaketh, " flee from 
the man that is a heretic after the first and second correction, kn(jwing that 
such a one is subverted and sinneth, forasmuch as he is, by his own judgment, 
condemned. Behold, Paul teacheth not to kill this man, but with Christ to 
separate him from the fellowship of the faithful.' But some sav, that Peter, in 
tiie primitive church, slew Ananias and Sapphira for their sins, wherefore, they 
say, it is lawful for them to condemn wicked men to death. We will declare, 
by showing the whole process, how falsely they speak in alleging of Peter, to 
justify their error. 

In Acts iv. it is written, " As many as were possessors of lands or houses, Tlie cx- 
sold them, and otlered the price of that which they sold, and laid it before the ^{"pe^pr 
feet of the apostles ; and it was divided unto every one ii^ he had need thereof slayinf? 
But a certain man, called Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of land, Ananias 
and kept back a part of the price of the held, his wifr being privy unto it, and phjra^'' 
bringing a certain part thereof, he laid it at the feet of the apostles. But Peter falsely 
said unto Ananias, Ananias ! why hath Satan tempted thy heart, that thou J^yJhg'^pj. 
shouldst lie unto the Holy Ghost, to keep back a part of the price of the land ? pl^ts. 
Did it not, whilst it remained, remain unto thee ; and being sold, was it not in 
thine own power .' why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart ? Thou 
hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And when Ananias heard these words, 
he fell down and gave up the ghost, and great fear came on all them that heard 
these things. And the young men rose up and took him up, and carried him 
out, and buried him. And it came to pass, about the space of three hours after, 
that his wife came in, being ignorant of that which was done. And Peter said 
unto her. Tell me, woman, sold ye the land for so much ' And she said, Yea, 
for so much. But Peter said imder her. Why have ye agreed together to tempt 
the Spirit of the Lord ? Behold the feet of them which buried thy husband are 
at the door, and shall carr}' thee out. And straightway she fell down before 
his feet, and gave up the ghost ; and the young men entering in, found her 
dead, and they carried her out, and buried her by her husband. And great 
fear came on all the church, and all those which heard these things." It is Peternot 
marvel that any man that is wise, will say that by this process Peter slew ^f^,};*'"* 
Ananias or his wit\'. For it was not his act, but the act of God, who made a death of 
wedding to his Son, and sent his servants to call them that were bidden imto Ananias 
the wedding, and they would not come. " The king then sent forth his servants to phira. 
the out-corners of the high-ways, to gather all that they could find, both good 
and enl, and so they did : and the marriage was full furnished with guest.s. Then 
came in also the king to view and see them sitting; among whom he perceived 
there one sitting, having not a wedding garment, and saith unto him, Friend, 
how earnest thou hither? And he, being dumb, had not a word to speak. Then 
said the king to tlie servitors, Take and bind him hand and foot, and cust him 
into the outward darkness ; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 
Many there be called, but few chosen," &c. 

It is manifest, that this wedding garment is charity, without which because Thewed- 
Ananias entered into the marriage of Christ, he given to death, that by jjj"^,*" 
one many might be infonrnd to learn and understand, that they who have faith Thcdeath 
and not charity, although they appear to men to have, yet it cannot be privy to of Ana- 
the Spirit of God, that they do feign. Such there are here no doubt, but they shall "|",^7fi- 
be excluded from the marriage of Christ, as we see this exemplified in the death what in- 
of Ananias and his wife by the hand of God, and not by the hand of Peter, formaiior. 
And how should Peter there have judged Ananias (albeit he had judged him) m'the 
worthy of death by the rigour of the old law ? For why ? by the law he had not been church. 

(I) Hersby it appearetb that aU hit reUtinn in this matter, touchei only the cases of heresy 
«iid opinloni In relifrlon, 

(21 By this it appfareth aeain, that hii respect U only to the pops and his prelates of the 
Church, and not to civil magistrates. 


Richard guilty of death, for tliat part which they did fraudulently and dissemblingly 

II- reserve to themselves : yea, and if they had stolen as much from anotheV 

. „ man, which was greater, neither yet for his lie committed, he had not therefore, 

\{n{ V that law of justice, been found guilty of death. Wherefore, if he did not 

1_ condemn him by the law of justice, it appeareth that he condemned him by 

the law of grace and mercy, which he learned of Christ : and so, consequently, 
it followeth much more apparent, that Peter could not put him to death. Fur- 
thermore, to say that Peter put him to death by the mere motion of his own 
will, and not by the authority of the old law, or by the new, it were deroga- 
tory and slanderous to the good fame and name of Peter. But if Peter did 
kill him, why then doth the bishop of Rome, who pretendeth to be successor of 
Peter, excuse himself and his priestsfromthe judgment of death against heretics 
and other offenders, although they themselves be consenting to such judgments 
done by lay-men ? For that which was done by Peter without ofience, ma}' 
reasonably excuse him and his fellow priests from the spot of crime. [Acts v.] 

It is manifest that there was another who did more grievously offend than 
Ananias, and that Peter rebuked him with more sharp words ; but yet he com- 
manded him not so to be put to death. " For Simon Magus also remaining at 
Samaria, after that he believed and was baptized, he joined himself with Philip; 
and when he saw that the Holy Spirit was given by the apostles (laying their 
hands upon men), he offered tliem money, saying, Give unto me this power, 
that upon whomsoever I shall lay my hand, he shall receive the Holy Ghost. 
To whom Peter answered, " Desti'oyed be thou and thy money together ; and 
for that thou supposest the gift of God to be bought with money, thou shalt 
have neither part nor fellowship in this doctrine. Thy heart is not pure before 
God, therefore repent thee of thy wickedness, and pray unto God that this 
wicked thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee ; for I perceive thou art even 
in the bitter gall of wickedness, and baiid of iniquity." Behold here the 
grievous offence of Simon Peter's hard and sharp rebuking of him, and yet 
thereupon he was not put to death. Whereby it appeareth that the death of 
Ananias aforesaid, proceeded of God and not of Peter. Of all these things it 
is to be gathered, seeing the judgments of death are not grounded upon the ex- 
press and plain Scriptures, but only under the shadow of the old law, that they 
are not to be observed of Christians because they are contrary to charity. Ergo, 
the bishop of Rome approving such judgments, alloweth those that are con- 
trary to the law and doctrine of Christ; as before is said of wars, where he 
approveth and justifieth that which is contrary to charity. The order of priest- 
hood, albeit it doth justify the judgments to death of the laity, Avhereby offenders 
are condemned to die, yet are they themselves forbidden to put in execution 
the same judgments. The priests of the old law being imperfect, when Pilate 
said unto them concerning Christ, whom they had accused as worthy of death, 
" Take him unto you, and according to your law judge him," answered, " That 
it was not lawful for them to put to death any man." John xviii. 

Whereby it appeareth, that our priests, being much more perfect, may not 
lawfully give judgment of death against any offenders : yet, notwithstanding, 
they claim imto them the power judicial upon offenders ; because, say they, it 
belongeth unto them to know the offences by the auricular confession of the 
offenders, and to judge upon the same being known, and to enjoin divers 
penances unto the parties offending, according to the quantit}' of their offences 
committed, so that the sinner may make satisfaction, say they, unto God, for the 
offences which he never committed. And to confirm unto them this judicial 
power, they allege the Scriptures in many places, wresting them to serve their 

First, They say that the bishop of Rome (who is the chief priest and judge 
among them") hath full power and authority to remit sins. Whereupon they 
say, that he is able, fully and wholly, to absolve a man 'a poena et culpa ;' so 
that if a man, at the time of his death, had this remission, he should straight- 
Like a ways ily unto heaven without any pain of purgatory. The other bishops, as 
pulled they say, have not so great authority. The priests constituted under every bishop, 
have power, say they, to absolve the sins of them that are confessed, but not all 
kind of sins : because there are some grievous sins reserved to the absolutions 
of the bishops ; and some again, to the absolution only of the chief and high 
bishop. They say also, that it behoveth the offender, for the necessity of his 


soul's licaltK, to call to remembrance his offences, and to manifest the same, Ri,/i„r,i 
with all the circimistaiiccs tluTi-of, unto the priest in aurirular confession, siij>- JJ- 
phinj,' the place of Coil, after the manner of a judpe ; and afterwards hunildy ~7^ ja 
to fiilhl tlie penance enjoined unto him hy the priest for his sins, except the i.,',,/ 
said penance so enjoined, or any part tliereof, he released hy the superior ' ' ' 
power. All these thini,'s, say they, are manifestly determined, ju well in the 
decrees as decretals. And although these thiufrs have not expressly their 
foundation in the plain and manifest doctrine of Christ or any of the apostles, 
yet the authors of the decrees and decretals concerninfj this matter, have 
grounded the same upon divers places of the Scriptures, as in the process of 
Christ, in the gospel of St. Matthew, chap. x%i. Whereupon they ground Tht- 
the pope's power judicial to surmount the powers of other priests, as where popi-'s 
Christ said unto his disciples, " Whom do men say tliat I an» ! And they an- "'"'•'"'l 
swered, Some say thou art John Haptist, some Elias, and some Jeremy, or one falsely 
of the prophets. To whom he said, But who say you that I am ? Simon Peter, ''""'"J'^d 
making answer, said. Thou art Christ, the son of the living (Jod. ,\nd Jesus srr'ipturi- 
answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon, the son of Jonas ; for flesh 
and blood have not opened this unto thee; but my Father which is in heaven. 
And 1 say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my 
church, and hell-gates shall not prevail agjiinst it. And I will give thee the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt biiul upon earth, shall 
also be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, shall be 
loosed also in heaven." 

Out of this text of Christ, divers expositors have drawn divers errors. For 
when Christ said, " And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock 
will I build my church ; " some thereupon atnrm, that Clnist meant he would 
build his church upon Peter by authority of that text, as it is written in the 
first part of the decrees, dist. It), cap. " Ita Dominus noster. " The exj)osition 
hereof is ascribed to pope Leo ; the error whereof is manifestly known. For 
the church of Christ is not builded upon Peter, but uj)on the rock of Peter's 
confession, for that he said, " Thou art Christ, the Son of the living (iod." And 
for that Christ said singularly unto Peter, " I will give unto thee the keys of The 
the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind," &c., by this saying ^'^^^i^^ 
they athrm, that Christ gave unto Peter specially, as chief of the rest of the Riving 
apostles, a larger power to bind and to loose, than he did unto the rest of the "'« keys 
apostles and disciples. And because Peter answered for himself and all the M.a^ x['i. 
apostles, not only confessing the faith which he had chiefly above the rest, but a;itlyex- 
also the faith which the rest of the apostles had even as himself, by the revela- l'"""'''^'^ 
tion of the heavenly Father, it appcareth that as the faith of all the apostles 
was declared by the answer of one, so, by this that Christ said unto Peter, 
" Whatsoever thou shalt bind," &c., are given unto the rest of the apostles the 
same power and equality to bind and to loose, as unto Peter ; which Christ de- 
clareth in the gospel of St. Matthew, chap, xviii., in these words, " Verily I 
say unto you, what things soever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound 
in heaven ; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be also loosed in 
heaven. " And further he added, " And again I say unto you, that if two of 
you shall consent upon earth, and request, whatsoever it be, it shall be granted 
unto you of my Father which is in heaven: for when two or three be gathered 
togetlier in my nanu", 1 am there in the midst of them. " And in John, chap. 
XX., he saith generally unto them, " Receive ye my Spirit. Whose sins ye 
shall remit, shall be remitted unto them ; and whose sins you shall retain, shidl 
be retiiined." 

By this it appeareth, that the power to bind and to loose is not specially 
granted to Peter, as chief and head of the rest, and that by him the rest had 
their power to hind and to loose; for that the head of the body of the church is Christ 
one, which is Christ, and the head of Christ is CJod. iVter and the rest of""') •''»-' 
the apostles are the good members of the body of Christ, receiving power and ','|^^'' "^ 
virtue of Christ, whereby they do confirm and glue together the other mi>m- church. 
bcrs (as well the strong and noble, as the weak and unable) to a perfect com- 
position and seemliness of the body of Christ ; that all honour, from all parts 
and members, may be given unto Christ as heatl .uul chief, by whom, as head, 
all the members are governed. And therefore Paul, 1 Cor. iii., " When one 
man saith, I hold of Paul, and another saith, I hold of /\pollos, are ye not 






Tlie third 

had like 
power to 
bind and 
to loose 
as Peter 



carnal men ? for what is Apollos? what is Paul? The minister of him in whom 
ye have believed, and he, as God giveth unto every man. I have planted. 
Apollos hath watered, but God hath given the increase. Therefore, neither he 
that planteth is any tiling, neither he that wateretli, but God that giveth the 
increase." And Paul to the Galatians, chap, ii., " God hath no respect of 
persons. Those that seemed to be great and do much, availed or profited me 
nothing at all : but contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncir- 
cumcision was comiuitted unto me, as the circumcision was unto Peter (for he that 
wrought with Peter in the apostleship of the circumcision, wrought with me 
also among the Gentiles), and when they knew the grace which was given me, 
Peter, James, and John, straightway, joined themselves with me and Barnabas; 
that w'e, among the Gentiles, and they in circumcision only, might be mindful 
of the poor, which to do, I was very careful." Hereby it appeareth that Paul 
had not his authoritj' of Peter to convert the Gentiles, to baptize them, and to 
remit their sins, but of him who said unto him, " Saul ! Saul ! why perse- 
cutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." [Acts ix.] Here 
is Paul, the head of (he church, and not Peter : by which head they say, that 
all the members are sustained and made lively. 

The third error which the authors of the canons conceive in the said text of 
Christ, which was said to Peter, " Unto thee will I give the keys," &c., is this: 
They say that in this sentence which was said to Peter of the authority to bind 
and loose, was meant, that as Christ gave unto Peter, above all the rest of the 
apostles, a special, and as it were an excellent power above all the apostles ; 
even so, say they, he gave power unto the bishops of Rome (whom they call 
Peter's chief successors), the same special power and authority, exceeding the 
power of all other bishops of the woi'ld. 

Tlie first part of this similitude and comparison, doth appear manifestly by 
the premises to be erroneous ; wherein is plainly showed, that the other apo- 
stles had equal power with Peter to bind and loose. Wherefore consequently it 
follov/eth that the second part of the similitude, grounded upon the same text, 
is also erroneous. But and if the first part of the said similitude were truth, 
as it is not, yet the second part must needs be an error, wherein is said, that 
the bishops of Rome are Peter's chief successors. For although there be but 
one catholic christian church of all the faithful sort converted, yet the first part 
thereof, and first converted, was of the Jews, the second of the Greeks, and the 
tliird part was of the Romans or Latins : whereof the first part was most per- 
fectly converted unto the faith, for that they faithfully observed the perfection 
of charity, as appeareth in the Acts of the Apostles, by the multitude of the 
believers. " They were of one heart, and one soul, neither called they any 
thing that they possessed their own, but all was common amongst them." 
[Acts ii.] 

Hereupon Paul to the Romans, chap. i. : " Salutation to every believer; first 
to the Jew, and to the Greeks after the Jews." The Greeks were the second, 
and after the Jews next converted; and after them the Romans, taking their 
information from the Greeks, as appeareth by the chronicles, although indeed 
some Romans were converted to the faith by Peter and Paul ; and as Christ 
said thrice unto Peter, " Feed my sheep," so Peter ruled these three churches, 
as witness the chronicles. But first he reformed the church of the Jews in 
Jerusalem and Judea, as appeareth by the testimony of the Acts of the Apostles, 
chap. i. ; for it is there manifest how Peter, standing up amongst his brethren, 
spake unto them concerning the election of an apostle in the place of Judas the 
traitor, alleging places unto them out of the Scripture, that another should take 
upon him his apostleship : and so by lot was Matthias constituted in the twelfth 
place of Judas [x\cts ii.] " After that the Holy Ghost was come upon the 
apostles, and that they spake with the tongues of all men, the hearers were 
astonied at the miracle ; and some mocked them, saying. These men are 
full of new wine : but Peter stood up and spake unto them, saying. That 
it was fulfilled in them which was prophesied by Joel the prophet. And 
he preached unto the people Christ, whom they of ignorance had put to 
death ; to whom was a Saviour promised by the testimony of the prophets. 
And when they heard the words of Peter, they were pricked at the heart, say- 
ing unto him and the rest of the apostles, What shall we then do ? And Peter 
said unto them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of 

HIS i.OUl.V 1)KC1,AHATI()N». 1 G7 

Jesus Christ, for the remission of yoiirsins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost. Hirhani 
And there were joined nnlo them tlie same day about three tliousand souls." ^' 
And by Aets iii. iv. v., it appeareth that I'etur, above the rest, did those thinps , . 
whicli belonged to the ministry of the apostleship, as well in ])reacliing as in j..'fii 

answering. Whereupon some chronielcs say, that Peter governed the church !lJ 1 

of the Jews at Jenisalem four years before he governed Antioch. And by the I'tter 
testimony of Paul to the (ialatians, as before is said, tiie gospel of the uncircum- f,"J'^'^"'^'' 
eision was committed to Paul, even as the circumcision to Peter; and he tliat church at 
wrought with Peter in tlie apostleship of circumcision, wrought with I'aul J^rusa- 
amongst the Gentiles [Gal. iii.] : whereby it appeareth that the church of the y^^rs be- 
Jcws was conunitted to the government of Peter. And in the process of the lore he 
Acts of the Apostles it appeareth, that Peter believed that the faith of Christ '^"ntloch'' 
was not to be preached unto those (Jentilcs, who always lived in uncleanncssof 
idolatry. " But when Peter was at Joppa, Corneliu.s, a Gentile, sent unto him 
that he would come and show him the way of life : but i'eter, a little before 
tiie coming of the messengers of Cornelius, being in his chamber, after he had 
prayed, fell into a trance, and saw heaven open, and a certain vessel descend- 
ing even as a gi-eat sheet, letten down by four corners from heaven to earth ; in 
which were all manner of four-footed beasts, serpents of the earth, and i'owls of 
the air. And a voice spake unto him, saying. Arise Peter, kill and eat : and 
Peter said, Not so, Lord, because I have never eaten any common or unclean 
thing. This was done thrice. And Peter descended, not knowing what the 
vision did signify, and found the messengers of Cornelius." 

As concerning the authority judicial of the clergy, many things are written 
thereof in the canons of decrees greatly to be marvelled at, and far from the 
mith of the Scripture. The authors of the canons say, that Christ gave unto 
the priests, power judicial over sinners that confessed their sins imto them. 
And this they ground upon the text of Christ : " I will give unto thee the keys The keys 
of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou loosest," &c. And these keys "^^^JV"" 
of the kingdom of heaven, they call the knowledge to discern, and the power " 
to judge, which they say only belongeth to the priests, except in case of neces- 
sitv : then they say, a lay-man may absolve a man from sin. And as touching Three 
absolution, they say, there are three things to be required on the sinner's part : 'hings 
First, hearty contrition, whereby the sinner ought to bewail his offending of ,„ popish 
God through sins. The second is, auricular confession, whereby the sinner absoiu- 
oupht to show unto the priest his sins, and the circumstances of them. The trition""' 
third is, satisfaction through penance enjoined unto him by the priest for his confes 
sins committed. And of his part that giveth absolution there are two things, "**f^t'"„ 
say they, to be required : that is to say, knowledge to discern one sin from x^q 
another ; whereby he ought to make a difference of sins, and appoint a con- things 
venicnl penance, according to the quantity of the sins. The second is, autho- o^,''J,'js*' 
rity to judge, whereby he ought to enjoin penance to the offender. And further part that 
thev say, that he that is confessed ought with all humility to submit himself to K'^*'^ 
this authority, and wholly and voluntarily to do those penances which are com- ai.solu- 
manded him by the priest, except the said penance be released by a superior tion. 
j)ower : for all priests, as they say, have not equal authority to absolve sins. 
The chief priest, whom they call Peter's successor, hath power fully and wholly 
to absolve. But the inferior priests have power, some more, some less. The 
more, as they are near him in dignity ; the less, as they arc further from the 
dignity of his degree. All this is declared by process in the decrees, but not 
by the express doctrine of Christ, or any of his apostles ; for although Christ 
absolved men from their sins, I do not find that he did it after the manner of a 
judge, but of a Saviour. For Christ saith [John iii.], " God sent not his Son 
into the world to judge sinners, but that the world should be saved by him :" 
whereupon he spake imto him whom he healed of the palsy, " Behold thou art 
made wholf, go thy ways and sin no more;" and to the woman taken in adul- 
tery, Christ said, " Woman, where be thy accusers ? hath no man condemned 
thee?" who said, " No man, Lord." To whom then Jesus thus said, " No 
more will I condemn thee ; go, and now sin no more." [John v.] 

By which words and deeds of Christ, and many other places of the Scripture, 
it appeareth he was not, as a judge, at his first coming, to punish sinners ac- 
cording to the quantity of their offences; but that day shall come hereafter, 
wherein he shall judge all men, according to their work."!, as in Mat. xxv., where 


THE sTony OF Walter buute. 









The mi- 
power to 
remit sin, 
as well to 
one priest 
as to 

The keys 

of the 





in the 



Faith and 
hope, the 
keys of 

he saith, " When tlie Son of Man shall come in his majesty, and all his angels 
with him, then sliall he sit upon the seat of his majesty, and all nations shall 
be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, 
as a shepherd sejjarateth the sheep from the goats," &c. Neither sh,ill he judge 
alone, but his saints also with him : for he saith. " You that have followed me 
in this generation, when the Son of Man shall sit in the seat of his majesty, shall 
sit also upon twelve seats, and judge the twelve tribes of Israel." If then Christ 
came not as a judge, why do the priests say, that they supply the room of Christ 
on earth, to judge sinners according to the quantity of their offences ? And yet 
not only this, but it is more to be marvelled at, how the bishop of liome dareth 
to take upon him to be a judge before the day of judgment, and to prevent the 
time ; judging some to be saints in heaven, and to be honoured of men, and some 
again to be [tormented in hell eternally with the devils ? Would God these 
men would weigh the saying of St. Paul, 1 Cor. iv., " Judge ye not before the 
time until the coming of the Lord, who shall make light the dark and secret 
places, and disclose the secrets of hearts ; and then every one shall have his 
praise." Let the bishop of Rome take heed, lest that in Ezekiel be spoken of 
him, " Because thy heart is elevate, and thou saidst unto thyself, I am God, I 
have sitten in the seat of God, and in the heart of the sea, when thou art but 
man, and not God." It is manifest that the remission of sins principally be- 
longeth to God, who, through grace, washeth away our sins. For it is said, 
" The Lamb of God taketh away the sins of the world." And unto Christians 
it belongeth as the ministers of God. For in John xx. Christ saith, " Receive 
unto you the Holy Ghost : whose sins you shall remit, they are remitted unto 
them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." 

Seeing, therefore, that all Christians that are baptized in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, receive the Holy Ghost, it ap- 
peareth that they have power given to them of Christ, to remit sins minis- 
terially. Hath not every Cliristian authority to baptize ? and in the baptism all 
the sins of the baptized are remitted. Ergo, they that do baptize do remit sins. 
And thus ministerially all sucli have power to remit sins. Therefore, to say 
that one man hath more authority to remit sins than all other Christians have, 
is too much to extol him, and to place him even in God's seat. I pray you how 
are the sins remitted him that is baptized by the priest (yea although he were 
by the pope himself baptized), more than if he were baptized by another Chris- 
tian ? Surely I think no more. For seeing that before baptism he remaineth 
a sinner, and of the kingdom of the devil by sin, after baptism he entereth into 
the kingdom of heaven : it appeareth that he that doth baptize, openeth the 
gate of the kingdom of heaven to him that is baptized, which he cannot do with- 
out the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Therefore every one that doth baptize, 
hath the keys of the kingdom of heaven ; as well the inferior priest, as the pope. 
But these keys are not the knowledge to discern, and power to judge, because 
these do nothing avail in baptism. Ergo, there are other keys of the kingdom 
of heaven than these. Wherefore it seemeth that the authors of the canons erred 
in mistaking the keys, whereupon they ground the authority judicial of the 

Now a little error in the beginning granted, groweth to great inconvenience 
in the end. Wherefore, in my judgment, it seemeth that the keys of the king- 
dom of heaven are faith and hope : for by faith in Jesus Christ, and hope in 
him for the remission of sins, we enter the kingdom of heaven. This faith is a 
spiritual water, springing from Jesus Christ the fountain of wisdom, wherein 
the soul of the sinner is washed from sin. With this water were the faithful 
patriarchs baptized before the law ; and the faithful people of the Hebrews, and 
the faithful Christians, after the law. Wherefore I greatly marvel of tJiat say- 
ing in the decrees, which is ascribed unto Augustine, that little children that 
are not baptized shall be tormented with eternal fire, although they were born 
of faithful parents, that wished them with all their hearts to have been baptized: 
as though the sacrament of baptism in water were simply necessary to salva- 
tion, when nevertheless many Christians are saved without this kind of baptism, 
as martyrs. If that kind of sacrament be not necessary to one of elder years, 
how then is it necessary to an infant born of the faithful ? Are not all baptized 
with the Holy Ghost, and with fire? but yet not with material fire; no more 
is the lotion of water corporally necessary to wash away sins, but only spiritual 

JUS (.(IDLY DKfl.AKA riON^^. 169 

water, tiiat is to say. tin- watt-r of'failli. Are not tho <|uick baptized for tlicin /ii.hnrd 
that are ilead .' as witiiesseth I'aiil, i C"nr. xv., " If the dead rise not at all, wliy ^^• 
are tlie living' tlien baptized for them !" If tbe living be baptized for tiie dead, . 

wli\ then is not tbe infant saved by tlie ba])tisni of his parents; seeinj^ tlie infant ,,,',,|* 
itself is ini|)otent at the time of death, and not al)!e to recpiire baptism .' Christ ' 
saith, " lie tliat believeth and is baptized shall be saved." He saith not, be 
that is baptizeii not, i)nt he that bilieveth not, shall be damned. Wherefore in 
Jolm, eliapter xii., Christ saith, "1 am the resnrreetion and life; lie that be- 
lieveth in nie, yea, although he were dead, sliall live." Tbe foith, therefore, is 
neeessary which the infant hath in his faithfid ])arents, although be be not 
washed with corj)oral water. How then is the infant damned and tonnented 
with eternal tire.' Were not they that were before the coming of Christ, and 
dead before bis death by a thousand years, saveil also by his death and passion ! 
All that believed in him were baptized in his blood, and so were saved and re- 
deemed from sin and the bondage of the devil, and made partakers of the king- 
d(;m of heaven. How then, in the time of grace, shall the infant be damned 
that is born of faitlifnl parents, that do not despise, but rather desire, to have 
their children baptized? I dare not consent to so hard a sentence of the decrees, 
l>ut rather believe that he is saved by virtue of the passion of Christ, in faith of 
bis faithful parents, and the hoj)e which they have in Clirist; which faith and 
hope are tbe keys of the heaveidy kingdom. (lod were not just and merciful, 
if he would condemn a man that believeth not in him, except be showed unto 
him the faith which he ought to believe. And therefore Christ saitli, " If I had 
not coi'ie and spoken luito them, sin could not have been laid unto their charge; 
but now they have no excuse for sin." Therefore, seeing the faith of Christ is Cliildren 
not manifest unto the infant departing before baptism, neither hatli he denied '''P''"'""ii 
it, how then shall he be damned for the same? But if CJod speaketh inwardly, baptism 
by way of illumination, of the intelligence of the infant, as be speaketh luito ""t con- 
angels, who then knoweth, save (iod alone, whether the infant rcceiveth, or not """"''" ■ 
receiveth, the faith of Christ!' What is he, therefore, that so rashly doth take 
upon him to judge the infants begotten of faithful parents dying without bap- 
tism, to be tormented with eternal tire ! 

Now let us consider the three things wliicli the canons of decrees affirm to be 
retpiisite for the remission of the sins of those that sin after baptism : that is to 
say, contrition of heart ; auricular confession ; and satisfaction of the deed Auricular 
through penance enjoined by the priest for the sins conmiitted. I cannot find ';?'''^^'*" 
in any place in the gospel, where Christ commanded that tliis kind of confession 
should be done unto the priest; nor can I lind that Christ assigned any penance 
inito sinners for their sins, but that he willed them to sin no more. If a sinner 
confess that lie bath ott'ended God through sin, and sorrow heartily for his 
ofl'ences, minding hereafter no more to sin, then is he tnily repentant for bis 
sin, and tlien he is converted unto the Lord. If he shall then, huml)ly and with 
good hojie, crave mercy at God and remission of his sins, what is he can 
hinder Ciod to absolve that sinner from liis sin '. And as God ab>olveth a sinner 
fron» bis sin, so bath Christ absolved many, although they confessed not tlieir 
sins unto the priests, and although they received not due penance for their sins. 
And if Christ could, after that manner, once absolve sinners, how is he become 
now not able to absolve, except some man will say that he is above Christ, and 
that his power is minished by the ordinances of his own laws? How were sin- 
ners absolved by (lod in the time of the apostles, and always heretofore, unto 
the time that these canons were made .' I speak not these tilings as though con- 
fession to priests were wicked, but that it is not of necessity requisite unto sal- 
vation. I believe verily that tbe confession of sins unto good priests, and like- 
wise to otlier faithful Christians, is good, as witiusseth JSt. James the apostle, 
" Confess ye yourselves one to another, and praj- ye one for another, that ye 
may be saved; for tbe continual prayer of the just availeth much. Klias was a 
man that sutfered many things like unto you, and be prayed that it should not 
rain upon the earth, and it rained not in three years and six months. And 
again lie prayed, and it rained from heaven, and the earth yielded forth her 
fruit. ' 'Ibis kind of confession is good, profitalile, and expedient; for if CJod, 
peradventure, lieareth not a mans own jirayer, be is helped with the interces- 
sion of others. Yet, nevertheless, tho prayers of the jiriests seem too much to be 
extolled in the decrees, where tliey treat of penitence, and that saying is 


Richard ascribed unto pope Leo, dist. i. cap. " Multiplex niisericordias Dci,"&c. And it 

^l- followetli, " So is it ordained by the providence of God's divine will, that the 

. „ mercy of God cannot be obtained but by the prayer of the priests," &c. The 

■ ■ prayer of a good priest doth much avail a sinner, confessing his faults unto him. 

' ' * The counsel of a discreet priest is very profitable for a sinner, to give the sinner 

counsel to beware hei'eafter of sin, and to instruct him how he shall punish his 

body by fasting, by watching, and such like acts of repentance, that hereafter 

he may be better preserved from sin. 

After this manner I esteem confession to priests very expedient and profit- 
able to a sinner. But to confess sins unto the priest as unto a judge, and to 
receive of him corporal penance for a satisfaction unto God for his sins com- 
mitted : I see not how this can be founded upon the truth of the Scripture. For 
before the coming of Christ, no man was sufficient or able to make satisfaction 
to God for his sins, although he suffered ever so much penance for his sins ; and 
therefore it was needful that he that was without sin, should be punished for 
sins, as witnesseth Isaiah, chapter liii., where he saith, " He took our griefs upon 
him, and our sorrows he bare;" and again, "He was wounded for our iniqui- 
ties, and vexed for our wickedness;" and again, "The Lord put upon him our 
iniquity;" and again, "For the wickedness of my people have I stricken him." 
If therefore Christ, through his passion, hath made satisfaction for our sins, 
whereas we ourselves were unable to do it, then, through him, have we grace 
and remission of sins. How can we say now that we are sufficient to make satis- 
faction unto God by any penance enjoined mito us by man's authority, seeing 
that our sins are more grievous after baptism, than they were before the coming 
of Chi-ist ? Therefore, as in baptism the pain of Christ in his passion was a full 
satisfaction for our sins; even so after baptism, if we confess that we have 
offended, and be heartily sorry for our sins, and mind not to sin again afterwards. 
Hereupon John writeth in his first epistle, chapter i., " If we say we have no 
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, 
God is faithful and just ; lae will remit them, and cleanse us from all our iniqui- 
ties. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in 
us. My well beloved childi'en, thus I write unto you, that ye sin not ; but if 
any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, 
and he is the propitiation for our sins ; and not for our sins only, but for the 
Confes- sins of the whole world." Therefore we ought to confess ourselves chiefly unto 
sion unto God, even from the heart, for that he chiefly doth remit sins, without whose 
^°'^" absolution little availeth the absolution of man. This kind of confession is profit- 
Auricular able and good. The authors of the canons say, that although auricular confes- 
confes- sion made unto the priest be not ex|)ressly taught by Christ, yet, say they, it is 
tru^y""' taught in that saying which Christ said unto the diseased of the leprosy, whom 
grounded he commanded, " Go your ways and show yourselves unto the priest," [Luke 
upou the xvii.,] because, as they say, the law of cleansing lepers, which was given by 
>crip ure. jyj^g^g^ signified the confession of sins unto the priest. And whereas Christ 
commanded the lepers to show themselves unto the priests, they say, that Christ 
meant that those that were unclean with the leprosy of sin, should show their 
Authors sins unto the priests by auricular confession. I marvel much at the authors of 
°^^^^ the canons; for, even from the beginning of their decrees unto the end, they 
reproved!^ ground their sayings upon the old law, which was the law of sin and death, and 
not, as witnesseth Paid, upon the words of Christ, which are spirit and life. 
Christ saith, "The words which I speak unto you, are the spirit and life." 
They ground their sayings in the shadow of the law, and not in the light of 
Christ: "For every evil doer hateth the light, and cometh not unto it, that his 
deeds be not reproved ; but he that doth tlie truth, cometh into the light, that 
his works may be openly seen, because they are done in God." [John iii.] 

Now let us pass to the words that Christ spake to the leper : " Lord, if thou 
wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand touched 
him, saying, I will, be thou clean : and straightways he was cleansed of his 
leprosy. And Jesus said unto him. See thou tell no man, but go and show thy- 
self to the priests, and offer the gifts that Moses commanded for a witness of 
The story these things." [Luke v.] This gospel witnesseth plainly, that the diseased of 
of the leprosy were cleansed only by Christ, and not by the priests ; neither did Christ 
pounded.' command the leper to show himself unto the priests, for any help of cleansing 
that he should receive of the priests, but to fulfil the law of Moses, in offering 


a sacrifice for liis cleansing, and for a ti-stimony unto the priests, who always Richard 

of envy accused Clirist as a trans<;ressor of the law. For if Christ, after he had ^^- 

cleansed the leper, had licensed him to connnuiiicate with others tiiat were clean, ^ jj 
hefore he had showed himself cleansed unto tiu- priests, then nuf^ht the priests j.jyj 

havf accused Christ, as a transjjressorof the law ; hecause it was a precept of the • 

law, that the leper, after he was cleansed, slunild show himself unto tlie priests. Itmakeih 
And tiiey liad sij^ns in the hook of the law, wherel)y they mii,'ht judge whether fj'/au"? 
he were truly cleansed or not. And if he were cleansed, then would the priests cularcou 
otter a gift ibr liis cleansing ; and if he were not cleansed, then would they '•^^""n- 
segregate him from the company of others that were clean. Seeing every figure The 
ought to he assimilated imto the thing that is figured, I ])ray you then what ,,f^o"y""^ 
agi'eement is there hetween the cleansing of lepers hy the law, and the confes- leprosy, 
sion of sins? By tliat law the priest knew hetter whether he were leprous, than '""i 'he 
he himself that had the lej)rosy. In confession the priest knew not the sins of nf\i,g ^ 
him that was confessed, hut hy his own confession. In that law the priest did prii-st in 
not cleanse the h'prous. How now, therefore, ougiit the priests to cleanse sin- ^"nfy"'^' 
ners from their sin, aiul how is it, that without them tiiey ciuniol he cleansed? sion agree 
In tliis law the priest had certain signs, hy which he could certaiidy know whe- ""'• 
ther a man were cleansed from his lepros\' or not. In confession the priest is 
not certain of the cleansing of sins, hecause he is ignorant of his contrition. He 
knoweth not, also, whether he will not sin any more ; without which contrition 
and granting to sin no more, God hath not ahsolved any sinner. And if God 
hath not absolved a man, without doubt then is he not made clean. And how 
then is confession figured under that law ? Doubtless so it seemeth to me 
(under the correction of them that can judge better in the matter), that this law 
heareth rather a figure of excommunication, and reconciliation of him that hath 
been obstinate in his sin, and is reconciled again. For so it appeareth by the 
jirocess of the gospel, tluit when the siinier doth not amend for the private cor- 
rection of his brother, nor fjr the correction of two or three, neither yet for the 
public correction of the whole church, then is he to be counted as an ethiiick 
and a publican, and as a certain leper to be avoided out of the companj- of all 
men: which sinner, notwithstanding, if he shall yet repent, is then to be 
reconciled, because he is then cleansed from his obstinacy. 

But he who pretendeth himself to be tlie chief vicar of Christ, and the high The 

priest, saith, that he hath power to absolve 'a pcena et culpa:' which I do not P"?*^* . 
. ,, .* . . • power 111 

find how it is founded in the Scri])ture, but that of his own authority he absolving 

enjoineth to sinners penance for their sins. And grant that from their sins from sins 

he may well absolve them, yet, from the pain (which they call 'a poena,') he "d in"" 

doth not simply absolve, as in his indidgences he promiseth. But if he were in Scripture. 

charity, and had such power as he i)retendeth, he would suffer none to lie in '1*^ 'l^" 
<••/> 1 1 -iii- 1111 • i-i al'solve 

purgatory tor sm : lorasmucli as that ])am uotli tar exceed all other pani which none from 

here we sufiTer, what man is there being in cliarity, hut if he see his brother to pmiish- 
be tormented in this norld, if he may, he will iielp him and deliver him? Much ""^" ' 
more ought the pope then to deliver out of jiaiiis of purgatory, indifl'erently, as 
well rich as poor. .\nd if he sell to the rich his indulgences, doublewise, yea The pope 
treblewise, he seduceth them. First, in promising to deliver them out of the p"rdons 
pain fi-oin whence he doth not, neither is able to deliver them ; and so maketh Jeceivcth 
them falsely to believe that, which they ought not to believe. Secondly, he ""^" ""^"^^° 
dcceiveth them of their money, which he taketh for his indulgences. Thirdly, „i „aj.s 
he seduceth them in this, that he, promising to deliver them from pain, doth pro- 
induce them into grievous punishment indeed, for the heresy of simony, which i"i»inK 
both of them do commit, and, therefore, are both worthy of great ])ain to fall h"j,"j',f. 
upon them : for so we read that Jesus cast out buyers and sellers out of his ntii men 
temple. Also Peter .said unto Simon, the first author of this heresy, " Thy '? *'" '" 
money," said he, " with thee he destroyed, for that thou hast thought tlie gift 
of Goid to be possessed for money. " .Moreover, whereas Christ saith, " Freely 
you have received, freely give ; " and whereas, contrary, the pope doth sell that 
thing which he hath taken ; what doid)t is there, but that he doth grievously 
descr\e to be punished, both he that selleth, and he that buyeth, for the crime 
of simony which they commit? Over and besides, by many reasons and autho- 
rities of the Scripture it may be proved, that he doth not absolve a man contrite 
for his sins, although he do absolve him from the guilt. 

But this mar\'ellcth me, that he, in hi? indulgences, promiseth to absolve men 


Richard from all manner of deadly sins, and yet cannot absolve a man from debt ; for- 

^^- asmucli as the debt whicli we owe to God, is of much greater importance than 

~Z~r) is the debt of our brother. Wherefore, if he be able to remit the debt due to 

, OQ1 God, much more it should seem that he is able to forgive the debt of our brother. 

'_ Another thing there is that I marvel at, for that the pope showeth himself 

The pope more strait in absolving a priest for not saying, or negligently saying his matins, 
saith he jjjjj,^ fQj- transgressing the commandment of God ; considering that the trans- 
the debt gression of the commandment of God, is much more grievous than the breach 
to God, of man's commandment. 

caiiiKJt'to ^*"" these and many other errors concurring, and in this matter of the pope's 
man. absolutions, blessed be God, and honour be unto Him for the remission of our 
sins. And let us firmly believe and know, that he doth and will absolve us from 
our sins, if we be soiTy from the bottom of our hearts that we have offended 
him, having a good pui^pose and will to offend him no mofe. And let us be 
bold to resort unto good and discreet priests, who, with wholesome discretion 
and sound counsel, can instruct us how to avoid the corruption of sin hereafter ; 
and who, because they are better than we, may pray to G^d for us : whereby 
we may both obtain sooner the remission of our sins past, and also may learn 
better how to avoid the danger of sin to come.i 

And tlius mucli concerning the judgment and doctrine of this 
Walter Brute, for christian patience, charity, and mercy ; which, as 
they be true and infallible notes and marks of true Christianity, so the 
said Walter, making comparison herein between Christ and the pope, 
goeth about purposely to declare and manifest ; whereby all men may 
see what contrariety there is between the rule of Christ''s teaching, 
and the proceedings of the pope ; between the examples and life of 
the one, and the examples of the other: of whicli two, as one is alto- 
gether given to peace ; so is the other, on the contrary side, as much 
disposed to wars, murder, and bloodshed, as is easy to be seen. Whoso 
looketh not upon the outward shows and pretensed words of these 
Romish popes, but adviseth and considereth the inward practices and 
secret works of them, shall easily espy, under the visor of peace, Avhat 
discord and debate they work, who, bearing outwardly the meek horns 
of the lamb mentioned in the Apocalypse, within do bear the bowels 
of a wolf, full of cruelty, murder, and bloodshed. Which if any do 
think to be spoken by me contumcliously ; would God that man 
could prove as well the same to be spoken by me not truly ! But 
truth it is, I speak it sincerely, without affection of blind partiality, 
according to the truth of histories both old and new. Thus, under 
' in Dei nomine. Amen,"' how unmercifully doth the pope condemn 
his brother ! And while he pretended it not to be lawful for him to 
kill any man, what thousands hath he killed of men .'' And likewise 
in this sentence, pretending ' in visceribus Jesu Christi,' as though he 
would be a mediator to the magistrate for the party ; yet, indeed, will 
he be sure to excommunicate the magistrate, if he execute not the 
sentence given. Who be true heretics, the Lord when he cometh 
shall judge ; but give them to be heretics whom the pope condemneth 
for heretics, yet what bowels of mercy are here, where is nothing but 
burning, faggoting, drowning, prisoning, chaining, famishing, racking, 
hanging, tormenting, threatening, reviling, cursing, and oppressing ; and 
not instructing, nor yet indifferent hearing of them, what they can say .'* 
The like cruelty also may in their wars appear, if we consider how 
pope Urban V., besides the racking and murdering of seven oi eight 

(i; Ex Registro Latino Epise. Hereford. 

MIS np.i.iKi- rorciiis'i. tiik i.oiui's siiprKR. Vt'i 

rardinnls, sot u]) Ili-nrvSpciurr, bishop of Norwich, to fif,'ht ajjiiinst the nichard 
I'Vt'Uch i)c>j)c. Itinoctiit 1\'. w;i.s in war hiiii.sclt' against the Aj)ulians. ! — 

rare I 

I'Vt'Ucii poj) 

Likewise Alexander I\^, his successor, stirred up the son of king A.D. 

llenrv III. a<,Minst the son of Frederic 11. the enii)cr(jr, t(» fi;.;ht ''^^'• 

for Apulia, lioniface Vlli. moved Albortus, who stood to l)e em- ^^''"'' 

11111 11- • 1 • / < wars have 

poror, to drive IMuhp the r rcncli km,uf out ot his realm. Gregory hecn siir- 
iX. excited Louis the French king three sundry times to mortal war [^'Ije"!" '* 
against the earl Kainuind and city of Toulouse, and Avignon, where 
Louis, the said French king, died, llonorius III., by strength of 
war, many ways resisted Frederic II., and sent out thirtv-five galleys 
against the coasts of the emperor's dominions. The same pope also 
besieged Ferrara. To pass over the war at Tieinum,' with many 
other battles and conflicts of popes against the Romans, Venetians, 
and divers other nations, Innocent IIL set up Philij), the French 
king, to war against king John. What stir pope Gregory \\\., 
otherwise named Ilildebrand, kept up against the emperor Henry 
fV., is not unknown. And who is able to recite all the wars, battles, 
and fields, fought by the stirring up of the j)o|)c .'' These, with nviny 
('ther like examples considered, did cause this Walter Hrute to write 
in this matter so as he did, making yet thereof no universal propo- 
sition, but that christian magistrates, in case of necessity, might make 
resistance in defence of public right. Now he proceedeth further 
to other matter of the sacrament. 

The Judgment and Belief of Walter Brute, touching the Lord's 
Supper, the Order of Priests, &c. 

Touching tlie matter, saith he, of the sacrament of the body and blood of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, divers men have divers oi)in:ons, as the learned do know. 
.'\s concerning; my judgment upon the same, I firmly believe whatsoever the 
Lord Jesus taught implicitly or expressly to his disciples and faithfid people to 
be believed. For he is, as I believe and know, the true bread of Gotl which 
descended from heaven, and giveth life to the world : of which bread whosoever 
eatcth, shall live for ever ; as it is in John vi. declared. Before the coming of 
Christ iji the liesh, although men did live in body, yet in spirit they did not live, 
because ;dl men were then under sin, whose souls thereby were dead ; from which 
death no man, by the law, nor with the law, was justified : " For by the works of Justifira- 
the law shall lu) flesh be justified." [Gal. ii.] And again in the same epistle [chap. ['"". ''"1^ 
iii.], " That by the law no man is justified before fiod, it is manifest ; for the by tiic 
just man shall live by his faith : the law is not of faith ; but whosoever hath the '^*- 
works thereof, shall live in them." And again, " If the law had been given, 
whicli might have justified, then our righteousness had come by the law. But 
the .Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise might be sure by 
the faith of Jesus Christ to all believers. Moreover, before that faith came, 
they were kept and concluded all under the law, imtil the coming of that faith 
which was to be revealed. For the law was our schoolmaster in Christ Jesus, 
lliat we should be justified by faith." Also the said Paul [Romans v.], saith, 
" That the law entered in the mean time, whereby sin might more abound. 
Where then sin hath more nboimded, there also hath grace super-abounded ; 
that like a.s sin hath reigned unto death, so grace might also reign by righteous- 
ness unto ctenial life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Whereby it is manifest, 
that by the faith which we have in Christ, believing him to be the true Son of 
God who came down from heaven to redeem us from sin, we are justified from 
sin ; and so do livo by him who is the tnie bread and meat of the soul. And 
the bread which Christ gave is his flesh given for the life of the world. [John 
\n.] For he, being God, came down from heaven, and being true carnal man, 

(I) " Tieinum," Pavia, a city in Auttrian Italy.— Eo. 


Richard did suffer in the flesh for our sins, for which in liis divinity he could not sufier, 

^^- Wherefore, like as we believe by our faith that he is true God, so must we 

A rx also believe that he is true man, and then do we eat the bread of heaven, 

joQi' and the flesh of Christ. x\nd if we believe that he did voluntarily shed his 

!_ blood for our redemption, then do we drink his blood. 

True eat- And thus, except we eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, we 
Clfrist is liave not eternal life in us ; because the flesh of Christ verily is meat, and his 
true be- blood is drink indeed : and whosoever eateth the flesh of Christ, and drinketh 
lieving in j^jg ij]ood, abideth in Christ, and Christ in him [John vi.] : and as, in this world, 
Eating of the souls of the faithful live, and are refreshed spiritually with this heavenly 
the flesh bread, and with the flesh and blood of Christ, so, in the world to come, the same 
what7t^*' ^'^^^1 1^^^ eternally in heaven, refreshed with the deity of Jesus Christ, as touch 
is. ing the most principal part thereof, that is, to wit, ' intellectum ;' forasmuch as 

this bread of heaven, in that it is God, hath in itself all delectable pleasantness. 
And as touching the intelligible powers of the same, as well exterior as interior, 
they are refreshed with the flesh ; that is to say, with the humanity of Jesus 
Christ, which is as a queen standing on the right hand of God, decked with a 
golden robe of divers colours : for this queen of heaven alone, by the word of 
God, is exalted above the company of all the angels ; that by her all our corpo- 
ral power intellective, may fully be refreshed, as is our spiritual intelligence, 
with the beholding of the deitj^ of Jesus Christ ; and even as the angels shall we 
be fidly satisfied. And in the memory of this double refection, present in this 
world, and in the world to come, hath Christ given unto us, for eternal blessed- 
ness, the sacrament of his body and blood in the substance of bread and wine ; 
as it appeareth in Matthew xxvi. : " As the disciples sat at supper, Jesus took 
bread and blessed it, brake it, and gave it unto his disciples, and said. Take, eat, 
this is my body. And he took the cup, and thanked, and gave it them, saying, 
Drink ye all of this ; for this is my blood of the New Testament which shall be 
shed for many, for the remission of sins." And Luke, in his gospel [chap, xxii.], 
of this matter thus writeth: " And after he had taken the bread, he gave thanks. 
This is ^^ brake it, and gave it unto them, saying. This is my body which shall be 
my body, given for you ; do you this in my remembrance. In like manner he took the 
expound- gyp jjftgj. supper, Saying, This is the cup of the New Testament in my blood, 
which shall be shed for you." That which Christ said, "This is my body," 
in showing to them the bread, I firmly believe, and know that it is true : that 
Christ, forasmuch as he is God, is the very truth itself, and by consequence all 
that he saith is true. And I believe that the very same was his body, in such 
Notewell, wise as he willed it to be his body : for in that he is Almighty, he hath done 
gentle whatsoever pleased him. And as, in Cana of Galilee, he changed the 
water into wine really, so that after the transubstantiation, it was wine and 
not water: so, when he said, "This is my body," if he would have had the 
bread really to be transubstantiated into his very body, so that after this chang- 
ing it should have been his natural body, and not bread as it was before, I know 
thnt it must needs have been so. But I find not in the Scripture, that his will 
was to have any such real transubstantiation or mutation. 

And as the Lord God Omnipotent, in his perfection essential being the Son 
of God, doth exceed the purest creature, and yet, when it pleased him, he 
took upon him our nature, remaining really God as he was before, and was 
really made man, so that after this assuming of our substance, he was really very 
God and veiy man : even so, if he would, when he said, " This is my body," 
he could make this to be his body really, the bread still really remaining as it 
was before. For less is the difference of the essence between bread and the 
body of a man, than between the Deity and humanity; because that of the bread 
is naturally made the body of a man. Of the bread is made blood ; of the blood 
natural seed ; and of natural seed the natural substance of man is engendered. 
But in this that God became man, this is an action supernatural. Wherefore, 
he that could make one man to be very God and very man, could, if he would. 
Bread by make one thing to be really very bread, and his very body. But I do not find 
tude '" ^* fixpj'^ssly "1 f^he Scripture, that he would have any such identity or conjunc- 
tion to be made. And, as Christ said, " I am veiy bread," not changing his 
Bread essence or being into the essence or substance of bread, but was the said Christ 
tiaU^v^"' which he was before really, and yet bread by a similitude or figurative speech ; 
so, if he would, it might be, when he said, " This is my body," that this should 

ms UKI.IF.K TOUCHING THK l,OKl)'b S U 1* I' K It . !75 

really liave bt-i'ii tlie dread as it was before, and sacranientally or inemorially to RUhnni 
be liis body. And this seeiiieth unto nie most nearly to agree to the meaning ^^- 
of Christ, forasnuich as bo said, " Uo this in remembrance of nie." Tlien, for- . i^ 
asinnch <ls in the sui)per it is manifest that Christ gave unto liis disciples the 1301 

bread of I\is body, which he brake, to tliat intent to eat with ths-ir montlis, in 1 

wliich bread he gave liimsclf also unto them, as one in whom they sliould be- »'"' "he 
lieve (lus to l)e the food of t!ie soul) ; and by that faith they should believe him cramc'n- 
to be their Saviour who took his i)ody, wherein also he willed it to be manifest, tally, 
that he would udeem tiiem from death; so was the bread eaten with the disci- 
ples' mouths, tliat he, being the tnu- bread of the sold, might be in spirit re- 
ceived and eaten s])irituallv by their faith who l)elieved in him. 

The bread which in the di.sciples' mouths was chewed, from the mouth passed Thchrcad 
to the stouuich. Tor as Christ saith, " Whatsoever cometh to the mouth, goeth Lo'rdeavr 
into the belly, and from thence into the draught [Matt, xv.] But that tnu- and entcrcth 
very bread of tiie soul, was eaten by the spirit of the disciples, and by faith en- ".""Jj!" 
tcied their minds, and abode in their inward parts, through love. And so the die,, but 
hread broken seemeth luito me to i)e really the meat of the body, and the bread the t>oay 
wiiich it was before; but, sacramentdly, to be the body of Christ; as Paul ^ave' 
[ 1 'or. x.], "The bread which we break, is it not the participation of the body terrth in- 
of the Lord ?" So the bread which wo break is the partici])atioii of tho Lord's '".""e ^ 
body : and it is manifest tliat the heavenly bread is not broken, neither yet is ,1,^ jig^., 
subject to such breaking, therefore Paul calleth the material bread which is pies 
broken, the body of Clirist which the faithful are partakers of The bread J!f|ip,|, 
therefore changeth not its essence, but is bread really, and is the body of Christ it ma- 
sacramentally : even as Christ is the very vine, abiding really and figuratively \''^]^\ 
the vine, so the temple of Jerusalem was really the material temple; and, fi- .\„tc,reM 
giirativcly, it was the body of Christ, because he said, " Destroy you this ten:- dor! 
pie, and in three days I will repair the same again." And this spake he of the 
temple of his body ; whereas others understood it to be the material temple, as 
appeared by their answer. For, said they, " Forty and seven years hath this 
temple been in building, and wilt thou build it up in three days .'" 

Even so may the consecrated bread be really bread, as it was before, and yet, 
figuratively, the body of Christ. And if, therefore, Christ would have this 
bread lo be only sacranientally his body, and would not have the same br^ad 
really to be transubstantiated into his body, and so ordained his priests to make 
this sacrament as a memorial of his passion, then do the priests grievously of- The vain 
fend, who beseech Christ in their holy mass, that the bread wliich lieth upon prayer of 
the altar may be made really the body of Christ, if he would only liave the same priests at 
to be but a sacrament of his body ; and then be they both greatlj- deceived their 
themselves, and also do greatly deceive others. But whether the bread be '"""■"• 
really transubstantiated into the body of Christ, or is only the body of Christ 
sacranientally, no doubt but that the people are marvellously deceived ; for the The peo- 
people believe that they see the body of Christ, nay rather Christ himself, be- {1!'^^^^^"'.'. 
tween the hands of the priests, for so is the common oath they swear, " By him edinthe 
whom I saw this day between the priest's hands." And the people believe that «acra- 
thcy eat not the body of Christ but at Easter, or else when they lie upon their '"^"" ' 
death-bed, and receive with their bodily moutli the sacrament of the body of 
Christ. Butthebodv of Christ (admit the bread be transubstantiated really into 
the body) is in the sacrament 'indivisibiliter.' that is, not able to be divided ; 
and so ' imnunsurabiliter,' that is, not able to be measured. Ergo, ' invisibili- 
ter,' that i.s, not able to be seen. To believe therefore that he may be seen 
corporally in the sacrament, is erroneous. And forasmtich as the body of Christ 
b the soul's food, and not the food of the body in this world, (for that whoso- 
ever believcth, doth eat spirit\ially and really, at any time when he sobclievetli) ^^'^ 
it is manifest that they do greatly err who believe that they eat not the body of seek their 
Christ, but when they eat with their teeth the sacrament of the body of Christ, own ho- 

And although it should be to the great honour of priests, that the bread ","H'^ '" 
really were changed bito the body of Christ, by virtue of the sacramental transub- 
words pronounced, yet, if Christ would not have it to be so, then they, desiring s;-»>tii 
to do tnis contrary to the will of Christ, and informing the people what is to be ■ 
done, so contrary to the will of C^hrist, arc in great peril, most dangerously se- f, ere ye 
ducing both themselves and the people. And then, although thereby tliev get good 
a little worldly and transitory honour for a short time, it is to be fearecl lest •""" "'" 


Richard pei-petual shame finally shall follow and ensue upon the same ; for Christ saith 

^^- " Eveiy one that exalteth himself shall he brought low." Let them therefore 

~. ,-. take heed, lest they, extolling themselves for this sacrament above the company 

\.{a{ of angels who never sinned, for the error which they be in, for evermore be 

• placed with the sinful angels under the earth. 

Let every man therefore think lowly of himself, in what state or degree soever 

he be: neither let him presume to do that which he is not able to do; neither 

desire to have that thing done, which God woidd not have done. 

Themak- I gi'eatly marvel at those who were the makers of the canons, how variably, 

ers of the j (.gntrarv one to anothei', they write of this sacrament of the bodv of Christ, 
canon law . , , , -^ , „ ., -, ■' -i ,, . ^^ • , i i i • i 

contrary In the last part 01 the decrees where this matter is touched, not only in the 

to them- text, but also in the process of the matter, divers do diversely write, and one 
Contra- contrary to another. For in the chapter that thus beginneth, " Prima inquit 
riety in hajresis," 1 it is thus written, " You shall not eat this body which you see, nor 
the pope s g]^all drink this blood which they shall shed who shall crucify me : I will com- 
mend unto you a certain sacrament spiritually understood that quickeneth you ; 
for the flesh profiteth you nothing at all." And in the end of the same chap- 
ter it is thus written, " Till the world shall have an end, the Lord's place is in 
heaven : yet notwithstanding the verity of the Lord is here abiding with us. 
For the body wherewith he rose, ought to be in one place ; but his verity is in 
every place diffused and spread abroad." And in the chapter following, which 
thus beginneth, "Omnia quaecunque voliut,"^&c. It is written, "Although 
the figure of the bread and- wine seem to be nothing, yet, notwithstanding, they 
must, after the words of consecration, be believed to be none other thing than 
the very flesh of Christ, and his blood. Whereupon the Verity himself said 
unto his disciples, 'This is,' saith he, ' my flesh, which is given for the life of 
the woHd,' and to speak yet more marvellously, this is none other flesh than 
that which was born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered upon the cross, and rose 
out of the sepulchre." 
The re- See how far this chapter differeth from the first. And in the chapter which 

cantation beginneth, " Ergo Berengarius," &c., this is the confession which Berengarius 
garius is himself confessed touching this sacrament, and his confession is of the church 
heretical, allowed : " I confess," saith Berengarius, " that the bread and wine which is 
laid upon the altar after the consecration, is not only a sacrament, but also that 
it is the very body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ : and the same not only 
sensually to be a sacrament, but also verily to be handled with the priest's hands, 
and to be broken, and chewed with the teeth of faithful men." This confession 
doubtless is heretical : for why? If the body of Christ be in the sacrament (as 
of the church it is so determined), it is there then 'multiplicative,' and so ' in- 
divisibiliter ;' wherefore not ' sensualiter.' And if it be there ' indivisibiliter,' 
that is, in such sort as it cannot be divided or separated, then can it not be 
touched, felt, broken, or with the teeth of men chewed. 
The sa- 'fhe writers of this time and age do affirm, that if, by the negligence of the 
left'by'the pi'iest, the sacrament be so negligently left, that a mouse, or any other beast or 
priest's vermin eat the same ; then they say, that the sacrament return eth again into 
"•^^h- t|,g nature and substance of bread. Whereby they must needs confess, that a 
be eaten miracle is as well wrought by the negligence of the priest, as first there was 
of a made by the consecration of the priest in making the sacrament. For either 

returneth ^J ^'^^ eating of the mouse the body of Christ is transubstantiated into the 
again nature of bread, which is a transubstantiation supernatural, or else of nothing 
from body |jy creation is this bread produced; and therefore either of these operations is 
miraculous and to be marvelled at. Now, considering the disagreeing opinions 
of the doctors, and for the absurdities which follow, I believe with Paul, that 
Wliether j^g ^j-gad which we break, is the participation of the body of Christ ; and, as 
signs in a Christ saith, that the bread is made the body of Christ for a memorial and re- 
priest be meinbrance of him. And in such sort as Christ willed the same to be his body, 
ofVnH-^ in the same manner and sort do I believe it to be his body. 
Christ or But, whether women may make the body of Christ, and minister it unto the 
^^^^ , . people ; or whether priests be divided from the lay people for their knowledge, 
upon" ^ pre-eminence, and sanctity of life, or else by external signs only ; also, whether 
Christ. the sign of tonsure and other external signs of holiness in priests, be signs of 

(1) DeConBec. dist. 2. (2) Ibid. 

Ills (..ODI.Y l)i;( I.AIIATIONS. 177 

Antichrist and liis characters; or else intruduced and taught hy oiir Lord Jesus Hichnrd 
Christ : consequently it reniaineth next to sjieaiv unto the faithful s(jrt, accord- H 
in^ to the process of the holy Scrinlure ; hrst, of the three kinds of the priests. " 
I remember that I liave read, the hrst of them to he Aaronical, legal, and tem- '..' ' 
poral ; the second to be eternal aiul regal, according to the order of Melchise- ' 
dec ; the third to be Christiaii. The first of these ceased at the coming of Three 
Christ ; for as St. Paul to the Hebrews saith, ' The priesthood of Aaron was ^J^rxlW 
translated to the priesthood of the order of Melchisedec' Tlie legal sort of priests, 
priests of .\aron were separated from tlie rest of the people by kindred, oiiice, Levi'ical 
and inheritance : by kindred, for that the children of Aaron only were j)riests : jj^ldcd 
by olhce, for tliat it only pertained to them to offer sacrifice for the sins of the from the 
people, and to instruct the people in the precepts and ceremonies of the law: j^""?'';!'^ 
by inheritance, because the Lord was their portion of inheritance; neither had oiiicK.and 
tliey any other inheritance amongst their brethren, but those things which were '"''en- 
ottered unto the Lord, as the first fruits, parts of the sacrifices, and vows ; except '""^'■' 
places for tlicir mansion houses, for them and theirs, as appeareth by the pro- 
cess of Moses' law. The priesthood of Christ did much diihr from this priest- 
hood, as I'aul doth witness to the Hebrews, in chapters vii. viii. i.\. x. 

First, in kindred : because that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came of How the 
the stock and tribe of Judah, of which tribe none liad to do with the altar, and h",^j' f 
in which tribe nothing at all was spoken of the priests of Moses. Christ 

Secondly, for that others were made jmests without their oath taken ; but '!'"'"«"' 
he, by an oath by him who s.iid, ' The Lord swore and it shall not repent him, Lcvitical 
thou art a priest t'or ever according to the order of Melcliisedec' priest- 

Thirdly, by durability ; for that many of them were made priests but during ''""''• 
the term of their lives ; ' but he, for that he remaineth for ever, hath an eternal 
priesthood. Wherefore he is able to save us for ever, having by himself access 
unto God, wliich ever livcth to make intercession for us.' Tlie law made also 
such men priests as had infirmities ; but ' Semio' (that is, the Word, which, aa- 
cording to tlie law, is the eternal Son and perfect), by an oath. 

The priesthood of Christ also did differ from the priesthood of Aaron and the 
law in the matter of the sacrifice, and in the place of sacrificing In the mat- 
ter of their sacrifice : because they did use in the sacrifices strange bodies for 
the matter of their sacrifices, and did shed strange blood for the expiation of 
sins ; but he offering himself unto God his Father for us, shed his own blood for 
the remission of our sins. In the place of sacrificing : because they did offer 
their sacrifice in the tabernacle or temple ; but Christ suffering death without 
the gates of the city, offered himself upon the altar of the cross to God his 
Father, and there shed his precious blood. In his supping cliamber, also, he 
blessed the bread, and consecrated the same for his body, and the wine which 
was in the cup he also consecrated for his blood; delivering the same to his 
apostles to be done for a commemoration and remembrance of his incarnation 
and passion. ' Neither did Jesus enter into the sanctuary made with man's 
hands, which be examples and figures of true things, but he entered into heaven 
itself, that he might appear before the Majesty of (Jod for us. Neither doth he 
offer himself oftentimes, as the chief priest in the sanctuary did every year with 
strange blood (for then should he oftentimes have suffered from the beginning); 
but now once for all, in the latter end of the world, to destroy sin by his peace- 
offering hath he entered. And even as it is decreed, that man once sliall die, and 
then cometh the judgment, so Christ Jiatli been once offered, to take away the sins 
of many. The second time he shall appear without sin to them that look for him ; 
to their salvation. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, can The Uw 
never, by the image itself of things (which every year without ceasinp they ofl'er »>rinKeth 
by such sacrifices), make those perfect that come thereunto; for otherwise that perft,-" 
offering should have ceased, because that such worshippers, being once cleansed tion. 
from their sins, should haw no more conscience of sin. But in these, comme- 
moration is made every year of sin ; for it is impossible that by the blood of 
goats and calves, sins should be purged and taken away. Therefore, coining 
into the world he said, sacrihce and olilation thou wouldst not have, but a body 
hast tliou given me ; peace-offerings for sins have not pleased thee : then said I, 
Behold I come ; in the volume of the book it is written of me, that I should do 
thy will, O God : saying, as above, Because thou wouldcst have no sacrifice 
nor bumt-ofFcrings for sin, neither dost thou take pleasure in those things tliat 
vol.. II!. N 





hood of 

The name 
of Sacer- 
dos or 
Priest not 
used in 
the New 


wliich is 

office of 
after the 

The body 
of Christ 
not left to 
be a sacri- 
fice for 
sin, but 
only for a 

are offered according to the law. Then said I, Behold I come, that I may do 
thy will O God. He taketh away the first to establish that which followeth. In 
which will we are sanctified, by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once 
for all. And every priest is ready daily ministering, and oftentimes ofi^eving 
like sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Jesus, offering one 
sacrifice for sin^_ sitteth for evennore on the right hand of God, expecting the 
time till his enemies be made his footstool. For by his one only oblation, 
hath he consummated for evermore those that are sanctified.' 

All these places have I recited which Paul writeth, for the better under- 
standing and declaration of those things of which I mean to speak ; by all which 
it appeareth manifestly, how the priesthood of Christ diftereth fi'om the legal 
priesthood of Aaron : and by the same also appeai'eth, how the same diflereth 
from all other priesthood Christian, that imitateth Christ ; for the properties of 
the priesthood of Christ, above recited, are found in no other priest, but in 
Christ alone. 

Of the third priesthood, that is, the ' Christian priesthood, ' Christ, by express 
words, speaketh but little to make any difference between the priests and the 
rest of the people ; neither yet doth use this name of ' sacerdos,' or 'presbyter,' 
in the gospel, but some he calleth 'disciples,' some 'apostles,' whom he sent to 
baptize and to preach, and in his name to do miracles. He calleth them the 
' salt of the earth,' in which name wisdom is meant : and he calleth them 'the 
light of the world,' by which good living is signified: for he saith, 'Let your 
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your 
Father which is in heaven.' And Paul, speaking of the priests to Timothy 
and Titus, seemeth not to me to make any diversity betwixt the priests and the 
other people, but in that he would have them to surmount others in knowledge 
and perfection of Hfe. 

But the fourth priesthood is the Roman priesthood, brought in by the church 
of Rome, which church maketh a distinction between the clergy and the lay 
people, and, after that, the clergy is divided into sundry degrees, as appeareth 
in the decretals. This distinction of the clergy from the laity, witli the tonsure 
of clerks, began in the time of Anacletus, as it doth appear in the chronicles. 
The degrees of the clergy were afterwards invented and distinguished by their 
offices, and there was no ascension to the degree of the priesthood, but by in- 
ferior orders and degrees. But in the primitive church it was not so ; for, im- 
mediately after the conversion of some of them to faith and baptism received, 
they were made priests and bishops, as appeareth by Anianus, whom Maixus 
made of a tailor or shoemaker to be a bishop ; and of many others it was in like 
case done, according to the traditions of the church of Rome. Priests are or- 
dained to offer sacrifices, to make supplication and pi-ayers, and to bless and 
sanctify. The oblation of the priesthood only to priests, as they say, is con- 
gruent ; whose duties are upon the altar to offer for the sins of the people the 
Lord's body, which is consecrated of bread. Of which saying I have great mar- 
vel, considering St. Paul's words to the Hebrews before recited. If Christ, offer- 
ing for oiu' sins one oblation for evermore, sitteth at the right hand of God, and 
with that one oblation hath consummated for evermore those that are sanctified : 
if Christ evermore sitteth at the right hand of God, to make intercession for us, 
what need he to leave here any sacrifice for our sins by the priests to be daily 
offered ? I do not find in the Scriptures of God, or of his apostles, that the 
body of Christ ought to be made a sacrifice for sin ; but only as a sacrament 
and commemoration of the sacrifice passed, which Christ offered vipon the altar 
of the cross for our sins. For it is an absurdity to say that Christ is now every 
day really offered as a sacrifice upon the altar by the priests ; for then the 
priests should really crucify him upon the altar, which is a thing of no Christian 
to be believed. But, even as in his supper his body and his blood be delivered 
to his disciples, in memorial of his body that should be crucified on the morrow 
for our sins : so after tiiis ascension, did his apostles use the same (when they 
brake bread in every house) for a sacrament, and not for a sacrifice, of the body 
and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And by this means were they put in re- 
membrance of the great love of Christ, who so entirely loved us, that willingly 
he suffered the death for us, and for the remission of our sins. And thus did 
they offer themselves to God by love, being ready to suffer death for the con- 
fession of his name, and for the saving health of their brethren, fulfilling the new 


conimandineiit of Christ, which said unto Oiem, ' A new commandment do nichm,: 

I ^ive unto you, that you lovu one another, as I liave loved you.' Hut when '^- 

love hegan to wax cold, or lather to be Iro/en for cold, through the aiij,'uisli and 4 i^ 

anxiety of persecutiin for tiie name of Christ, then j)riests did use tiie Hesli and \-u\\ 

blood of Christ, instead of a siicritice. And because many of them feared death, — '■ 1- 

soiue of t^iem lied into solitary places, not daring to give themselves a sacrifice ""* "}« 

oy death unco (iod througli tlie confession of his name, and for the saving ofthe'^ 

health of their brethren : some others worsliijjjjed idols, fearing death; as did tacra- tlie eliief bislu)i> of Rome, and many otliers besides, in divers places of tlie ""^■"' 

11.11- 1 1 1-1 1 ■ 1 1 1 fame to 

world. And tluis it came to pass, tliat tliat winch was ordained and constituted the 

for a memorial of the one and only sacrilice, was altered, for want of love, into rt-aiity of 

the reality of the sacritice itself. ^^ ^'^tK\t 

Attor these thin^fs tlius discussed, he int'erreth eonscqucntly upon 
the same, annther briet' traetation of women and hiy-men : whether, in 
defect of the other, they may exercise the action of prayer, and admi- 
nistration of sacraments belonfjing to priests, wherein he declareth the 
use received in the pope's church for women to baptize, which, saith 
he, cannot be without remission of sins : wherefore, seeino^ that women 
have power by the pope to remit sin, and to ])aptize, why may not 
they as well be admitted to minister the Lord's Supper, in like case 
of necessity ? Wherein also he maketh relation ofp()j)e Joan VIII., 
a woman pope, moving certain tjuestionsof her. All which, for brevity, 
I omit, proceeding unto the ministmtion of Prayer, and blessing of 
Sanctification, appropriate to the office of priests, as followeth. 

Walter Brute, on the Order and Office of Prayer, &c. 

Furthermore, as touching the function and office of praying and blessing, xhe 
wliereunto priests seem to be ordained (to omit here the question whether I/ird's 
women may pray in churches, in lack of other meet persons), it remaineth now '^">''^- 
also to prosecute. Christ, heing desired of his disciples to teach them to pray, 
gave them the Common-Prayer both to men and women, to which prayer, in my 
estimation, no other is to be compared. For in that, first, the wliole honour due 
unto the Deity is comprehended. Secondly, whatsoever is necessary for us, 
both for the time present or past, or for time to come, is there desired and prayed, 
for. He informeth us besides to pray secretly, and also briefly : secretly to enter 
into our close chamber, and there in secrecy he willetli us to pray unto his 
Father : and saith, moreover, ' When ye pray, use not much babbling, or many 
words, as do the heathen. For they think, in their long and jjrolix praying, to 
be heard. Therefore be you not like to them.' [Matt, vi.] By which doctrine rhe art« 
he calietii us away from the errors of the heatlicn (Jentilcs, from whom proceed of mcro 
these superstitious manners of arts (or rather of ignorances), as necromancy, the "^"^^ 
art of di\nnation, and other spices of conjuration, not unknown to them that be inc, and 
learned: for these necromancers believe one place to he of greater virtue tlian "'''!'': 
another; there to be luard sooner, than in another. Like as lialaam heing hired _",j f^°^ 
to curse the people of (mxI by his art of soothsaying or cliarming, when he could whom 
not accompiisli his puri)ose in one place, he removed to another; but he, in the J^'^'"> 
end, wii-s deceived of his desire : for he, intending first to curse them, was not 
able to accursc them whom the Lord blessed, so that his curse could not hurt 
gny of all that people, .\fter like sort, the necromancers turn their face to the 
East, as to a phicc more apt for their pr.-iyers. Also the necromancers believe 
that the virtue of the words of the prayer, and the curiosity thereof, cause 
them to bring to effect that which they seek after ; which is also another ])oint 
of infidelity, used much of charmers, sorcerers, enchanters, soothsayers, and such 
like. Out of the same art, I fear, proceedeth the practice of exorcising, whereby gj^p^ij. 
devils and sjiirits be conjured to do that, whereunto they are enforced by the ing. 
exorcist. Also, whereby other creatures likewise arc exorcised or conjured, so 
that, by the virtue of their exorcism, they may have their power and strength 
exceeding all natural operation. 



Richird In the churcli of Rome many such exorcisms and conjurations be practised, 

11 and are called by them benedictions, or hallowings. But here I ask of these 

. ,- exorcisers, whether they believe the things and creatures so exorcised and hal- 

, „■ ," lowed, have that operation and efficacy given them which they pretend? If they 

'__ so believe, every child may see that they are far beguiled. For holy water, 

Conjur- being of them exorcised or conjured, hath no such power in it, neither can have, 
hafiowi which they in their exorcism do command. For there they enjoin and com- 
in the niand, that wheresoever that water is sprinkled, all vexation or infestation of 
popish the unclean spirit should void, and that no pestilent spirit there should abide, 
J. "^"^ ■ &c. But most plain it is, that no water, be it ever so holy, can have any such 
water jiower SO to do, as it is commanded ; to wit, to be a universal remedy to expel 
conjured, all diseases. 

. This, I would ask, of these exorcists : whether in their commanding, they 

dity and do conjure, or adjure, the things conjured to be of a higher virtue and operation, 
abomina- than their own nature doth give : or else, whether they, in their prayers, desire 
th"po- o^ God, that he will infuse into them that virtue, which they require ? If they, 
pish ex- in their commanding, do so believe, then do they believe that they have that 
orcisms power in them, to which the inferior power of the thing exorcised must obey, 
in receiving that which is commanded. And so doing, they are much more 
deceived, forasmuch as they see themselves, that they who are so authorized to 
the office of exorcising, say to the devil being conjured, 'Go,' and he goeth 
not; and to another, 'Come,' and he cometh not: and many things else they 
command the inferior spirit their subject to do, and he doth not. So, in like case, 
when they pray to God to make the water' to be of such virtue, that it may be to 
them health of mind and body, and that it may be able to expulse every unclean 
spirit, and to chase away all manner of distemperature and pestilence of tlie air 
(being an unreasonable petition asked, and sore displeasing to God), it is to be 
feared lest their benediction, their hallowing and blessing, is changed into curs- 
ing, according to that saying that followeth : ' And now, O you priests, I have 
a message to say unto you ; if you will not hear and bear well away in your 
minds to give the glory unto my name, saith the Lord God of hosts, I will 
send scarcity among you, and I will curse your blessings.' What things, and 
how many are blessed, or hallowed in the church, that in hallowing thereof 
displease God, and are accursed ? And therefore, according to the saying of St. 
James [chap, iv.], they ask and are not heard, because they ask not as they 
Romish should, that they in their own desires may perish. Let a man behold the bless- 
conju- jjig Qj. liallowing of their fire, water, incense, wax, bread, wine, the church, the 
altar, the churchyard, ashes, bells, copes, palms, oil, candles, salt, the hallowing 
of the ring, the bed, the stafi", and of many such like things ; and I believe that 
a man shall find out many errors of the heathen magicians, witches, soothsayers 
and charmers. And notwithstanding the ancient and old magicians, in their 
books, command those that be conjurei-s, that they in any wise live devoutly 
(for otherwise, as they say, the spirits will not obey their commandments, and 
conjurations), yet the Roman conjurers do impute it to the virtue of the holy 
words, because they be they which work, and not the holiness of the conjurers. 
The pood How cometh it to pass that, they say, the things consecrated by a cursed and 
life of a vicious javeP should have as great virtue in pronouncing (as they say) the holy 
great ' and mystical words, as if they were pronounced by a priest ever so holy 1 But 
matter \ marvel that they say so, reading this saying in the Acts of the Apostles : be- 
God'^s' '" cause the charmers, pronouncing the name of Jesus, which is above all names, 
matters, would have healed those that were possessed with devils, and said ; ' In the 
name of Jesus, whom Paul preacheth, go ye out of the men ;' and the possessed 
with devils answered, * Jesus we know, and Paul we know, but what are ye ? 
And they all to be beat the conjurers.' 

And now, considering this and many such like things, I marvel wherefore the 
vicious priests do sell their prayers and blessings dearer (as also their masses and 
trentals^ of masses) than those that be devout lay-men, and holy women, who, 
with all their heart, desire to flee from vice, and take hold of virtue : forasmuch 
as God, in divers places of the Scripture, doth promise that he will not hear 

(1) Where was the pope's holy water then, in the great pestilence in the time of king Edward I H ? 

(2) " Javel." A slanderer. — Ed. 

(3) " Trcntal." An office for the dead, which lasts for thirty days, and consists of thirty masses 


sinners and wicked jutjoiis ; neither should he seem to be jiust, if he should Richard 
sooner hear the prayers of his enemies, than of his faithful friend. How, I pray "■ 
you, shall a sinful priest dehver another man from sin by his prayers, or else ^ ^^ 
from the punishment of sin, when he is not able to deliver himself, by his j.j'yj" 

prayers, from sin .' What then doth God so much accept in the mass of a vicious — ! !_ 

priest, that for his mass, his prayer or oblation, he n)in;nt deliver any man either The pray- 
t'rom sin, or from the pain due for sin ? No, but for this, that Christ hath once l"^-^^^ 
otlered himself for our sins, and now sitteth on the right hand of God the Father, priest 
always showing unto him what and how great things he hath suffered for us. j^'^.'^lj-jj.,,, 
And every priest always maketh mention in his mass of this oblation ; neither \^fota 
do we this that we might bring the same oblation into the remembrance of God, fioil- 
because that he always, in his presence, seeth the same ; but that we should have Hemem- 
in remembrance this so great love of God, that he would give his own Son to ti,rist'» 
death for our sins, that he might cleanse and purify us from all our sins. What passion 
doth it please God, that the remembrance of so great love is made by a priest, {JJ^j'jg"' 
who more loveth sin than God ? Or how can any prayer of such a priest please goJ, but 
God, in what holy place soever he be, or what holy vestments soever he put on, to man. 
or what holy ))rayers soever he maketh I And, whereas Christ and his apostles Pfiestn 
do command the jireaching of the word of God, the priest.n now be more bound more 
to celebrate the mass, and more straitly bound to say the cnnonical hours ; g"" "J^'J." 
whereat I cannot hut greatly marvel. For why? To obey tjie precepts of men corn- 
more than the commandments of God, is in etlect to hcmour man as (Jod, and mandeil 
to bestow the sacrifice upon man which is due unto God, and this is also spiritual ,,,.j„ ,y' 
fornication. How, therefore, are ])riests bound, at the commandment of man, preach- 
to leave the preaching of the word of God, at whose commandment they are not UJ^';,,^"™' 
bound to leave the celebration of the mass, or singing of matins ? Therefore, as it of (Jod. 
seemeth. priests ought not, at the commandment of any man, to leave the preach- Spiritual 
ing of the word of God, to which they are bound both by divine and apostolical ("uJJ"*^^' 
precepts. With which agreeth the writing of Jerome upon the decreUds, saying 
in this wise ; ' Let none of the bishops swell with tlie iiivy of devilish tempta- 
tion ; let none be angry, if the priest do sometimes exhort the people ; if they 
preach in the church, &c. For to him that forbiddeth me these tilings I will 
say, that he is unwilling that priests should do those things which be com- 
manded of God. What thing is there above Christ? or what may be preferred 
before his body and his blood T ii:c. 

Do priests therefore sin or not, who bargain for money to pray for the soul of wiieiher 
any dead man? It is well known that Jesus did whip those that were buyers iTx-'st" 
and sellers out of the temple, saying, ' My house shall be called the house of ^.^^n ,^ 
prayer, but you have made the same a den of thieves :' Tridy he cast not out sinR for 
such merchants from out of the church, but because of their sins. Whereupon p^^'ed'''^^ 
Jerome, upon this text, sailh ; ' Let the priests be diligent and take good heed in Jerome, 
this church, that they turn not the house of God into a den of thieves. He 
doubtless is a thief who seeketh gain by religion, and by a show of holiness 
studieth to find occasion of merchandise.' Hereupon the holy canons do make 
accursed simoniacal heresy, and do command that those should be deprived of 
the priesthood, who, for the suniassing or marvellous spiritual grace, do seek 
gain or money. Peter the apostle said to Simon Magus, ' Let thy money and 
thou go both to the devil, which thinkest that the gifts of God may be bought 
for money.' Therefore the sj)iritual gifts of (Jod ought not to be sold. 

Verily prayer is the spiritual gift of God, as is also the preaching of the Word ScUinc of 
of God, or the laying on of hands, or the administration of other the sacraments, j'™''*'.'' 
Christ, sending fortli his disciples to preach, said imto them, ' Heal ye the sick, |,ie. 
cast out devils, raise the dead; freely ye have received, freely give ye again.' If 
the priest have power, by his prayers, to deliver souls being in purgatory from 

rievourt pains, without doubt he hath received that power freely from God. 

low, thert'fore, can he sell his act, unless he resist the commandments of God, 
of whom he hath received that authority ? This tridy cannot be done without 
.sin, which is against the conunandment of God. How plainly spake Christ to 
the Pharisees and priests, saying; 'Woe be unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, 
hypocrites,' because ye have eaten the whole houses of such as be widows by 
making long prayers, and, therefore, have you received greater damnation.' 
Wherein, I nray you, do our pliajjsees and priests differ from them ? Do not 
our priests (levour widows' houses and possessions, tliat by their long prayers 



Richard they might deliver the souls of their husbands from the grievous pains of purga- 

^^- tory ? How many lordships, I pray you, have been bestowed upon the religious 

~T~r\ men and women to pray for the dead, that they, by their prayer, might deliver 

^'^n^ those dead men from the pain, as they said, tliat they suifer in purgatory, griev- 

L ously tormented and vexed? If their prayers and speaking of holy words shall 

Religious not be able to deliver themselves from pain, unless they have good works, how 
men and g^^ll other men be delivered from pain by their prayers, who, whilst they lived 
devourers here, gave themselves over to sin ? Yea, peradventure those lordships or lands, 
of wi- which they gave unto the priests to pray for them, they themselves have gotten 
houses by might, from other faithful men, unjustly, and violently : and the canons do 
Praying say, that siu is not forgiven, till the thing taken away wrongfully be restored : 
for souls jjQ^y \]\er\ shall they be able, who do unjustly possess such lordships or lands, 
fory. to deliver them by their prayers from pain, who have given to them these lord- 
Evil got- ships or lands, seeing God, from the beginning, hath hated all extortion in his 
ten lands, burnt sacrifices ? ' Not every one that saith unto me. Lord ! Lord ! shall enter 
bestowed mto the kingdom of heaven : but he which doth the will of my Father which 
for pray- is in heaven.' And again, ' Not the hearers of the law, but the doers of the 
soulfin law shall be justified.' 

purga. If, therefore, the words of him that prayeth, do not deliver himself from sin, nor 

tory. from the pain of sin, how do they deliver other men from sin or from the pain 
of sin, when no man prayeth more earnestly for another man, than for himself? 
Buying Therefore many are deceived in buying or selling of prayers, as in the buying 
and sell- of pardons, that they might be delivered from pain ; when commonly they pay 
ing of dearer for the prayers of "the proud and vicious prelates, than for the prayers of 
and par- devout women and devout men of the lay-people. But, out of doubt, God doth 
dons in _ j^gt regard the person of him that prayeth, neither the place in which he prayeth, 
church.^ ** 1^01^ his apparel, nor the curiousness of his prayer, but the humility and godly 
Person, affection of him that prayeth. Did not the pharisee and the publican go up 
place, ap- into the temple to pray? The publican's prayer, for his humility and godly 
Hoslt'y'o" affection, is heard. But the pharisee's prayer, for his pride and arrogancy, is 
eloquence contemned. Consider that neither the person, nor the place, nor the state, nor 
of prayer, ^jje curiousness of his prayer, doth help the pharisee : because the publican, not 
garded of thinking himself worthy to lift up his eyes unto heaven, for the midtitude of his 
God. sins, saying, ' O God! be merciful unto me a sinner,' is justified by his humi- 
lity, and his prayer is heard. But the pharisee, boasting in his righteousness, 
is despised ; because God thrusteth down the proud, and exalteth the humble 
and those that be meek. The rich glutton also, that was clothed with purple 
and silk, and fared every day daintily, prayed unto Abraham, and is not heard, 
but is buried in pains and torments of hell-fire. But Lazarus, who lay begging 
That 'T't his gate, being full of sores, is placed in the bosom of Abraham. Behold that 
prayer neither the riches of his apparel, nor the deliciousness of his banquets, nor the 
doth more gorgeousness of his estate, neither the abundance of his riches, doth help any 
ney, than thing to prefer the prayei's or petitions of the rich glutton, nor yet diminish 
for ehari- lijg torments, because that mighty men in their mightiness, shall suffer torments 
proved, inightily. How dare any man, by composition, demand or receive any thing of 
another man for his prayers ? If he believe that he can, by his prayer, deliver 
his brother from grievous pain, he is bound by charity to relieve his brother 
with his prayers, although he be not hired thereunto: but and if he will 
not pray unless he be hired, then hath he no love at all. What therefore 
helpeth his prayer who abideth not in charity ? Therefore let him first take 
compassion of himself by prayer, that he may come into charity, and then he 
shall be the better able to help others. If he believe not, or if he stand in doubt 
whether he shall be able to deliver his brother by his prayer, wherefore doth he 
make with him an assured bargain, and take his money, and yet know not whe- 
ther he shall relieve him ever a whit the more or not, from his pain ? I fear lest the 
words of the prophet are fulfilled, saying, ' From the least to the most, all men 
apply themselves to covetousness ; and from the prophet to the priest, all work 
deceitfully.' For the poor priests excuse themselves of such bargaining and 
selling of their prayers, saying, ' The young cock learneth to crow of the old 
cock.' 'For,' say they, ' thou mayest see that the pope himself, in stalling of 
bishops and abbots, taketh the first fruits : in the placing or bestowing of bene- 
fices he always taketh somewhat, and especially if the benefices be great. And 
he selleth pardons or bulls ; and, to speak more plain, he taketh money for 


tliem. Hisliops, in f^iving orders, in lialluwin|( churches and iliuirli-yjirds, do Jtuhnrd 
takf nionoy ; in ecclesiastical correction they take money for the mitigation of ■'^• 
penance; in the grievous otiences of convict persons, money is required, and » ,^~ 
caused to he paid. Ahhots, monks, and <illiir rchgious men that have posses- i..qi 
sion, will receive no man into their fratcrnitv, or make tlu in partakers of their ' 
spiritual suffrages, uidess he hestow somewhat upon them, or ])romise tluni StIlinRof 
somewhat. Curates and vicars, having sutiiciint livings by the fillies of their 0^,1^°"*' 
parishioners, yet in dirges and years-minds, in hearing confessions, in weddings church 
and burj'ings, do recpiire and have money. The friars, also, of the four orders .''"J'"*.'., 
of beggars, who think themselves to be the most perfect men of the church, do ciplinc, 
take money for their prayers, confessions, and huryings of the dead ; and when fraicr- 
they preach, they believe that they shall have either money, or some other Ji'^^^.^ 
thing worth money. Wh'Tefore then be the poor priests blamed .' ought not year- ' 
they to be held excused, although they take money for their prayers by comj)o- ""'"ds. 
sition .'" Truly, uie thinketh, that this e.\cuse by other men's sins, doth not excuse gi„ns, 
them, forasnuieh as to heap one mischief upon another's head, is no sufficient wt<l- 
disehart,'e. I would to God that all the buyers and sellers of si)iritual sufirasres !'"'-'!• 

~ , , • I r^ bur yiiic8, 

would, with the eyes of their heart, behold the ruin of the great city, and the sennons, 
fall of Babylon, and that which they shall say after that fall. Doth not the pro- ^<=- 
phot say, ' .\nd the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn for her, •'•Y^P''-' 
because no nuiii shall buy any more their merchandise ; that is, their merchan- taken by 
dise of gold and silver, and of precious stone, and of pearl, and of silk and the fall of 
purple ?' And again, he saith, 'And the merchants which were made rich by * * 
her, shall stand aloof for fear of her torments, weeping, mourning, and saying, 
Alas! Alas ! that city Babylon, that great city, which was wont to wear purple, 
white silk, crimson, gold, pearl, and precious stone, because that in one hour all 
those riches are come to nought.' .-^nd again; 'And they cast dust upon 
their heads, and cried out, weeping, and mourning, and saying, Alas ! Alas ! 
that great and mighty city Babylon, by whom all such as had ships upon the 
sea, were made rich by rewards ; because that in one hour she is become deso- 

This Babylon, this great city, is the city of Rome, as it appeareth by the pro- Tlu- ciiy 
cess of the apostle, because the angel who showed unto St. John the destruction ^ ,'\V""'" 
of the mighty harlot sitting upon many waters, with whom the kings of the 
earth have connnitted fornication, and all they who dwell upon the earth are 
made drunk with the wine of her whoredom, said unto him, ' And the woman 
which thou sawest, is the great city which hath dominion above kings,' &c. 
[Apoc. 18.] And indeed, in the days of St. John, the whole world was sub- 
ject to the temporal empire of the city of Rome, and afterwards it was subject 
to the spiritual empire or dominion of the same. But, touching the temporal The icm- 
govemment of the city of Rome, it is fallen already ; and so that other also, for I"'".' ="'• 
the multitude of her spiritual fornication, shall fall. The emperors of this city dominion 
gave themselves to idolatry, and would have that men should honour them as of tlu- 
gods, and put all those to death that refused such idolatry ; and by the cruelty \l]^j^l'J 
of their torments all infidels gat the upper hand. 

Hereupon, by the image of Nabuchadnczzar, the empire of the Romans is 
likened to iron, which beateth together, and hath the mastery of all metals. And The 
in the vision of Daniel, wherein he saw the four winds of heaven to fight in the [)^"'*,^„ 
main sea, and four very great beasts coming out of the sea, the kingdom of the the pro- 
Romans is likened to the fourth terrible and marvellous beast, which had great p'lecy of 
iron teeth, eating and destroying, and treading the rest under his feet ; and this gjpnifich 
beast had ten horns, and, as Daniel saith, he shall speak words against the Rome. 
Most Highest, and shall tear with his teeth the saints of the Most Highest, and he 
shall think that he may be able to change times and laws ; and they shall be 
delivered into his power, until a time, times, and half a time. In the Apo- Thcbcait 
calypse, St. John saw a best coming out «)f the sea, having seven heads and ten with sc- 
homs, and power was given to him to continue for forty-two months. So long jic"js in 
time endured the empire of the Romans, that is to say, from the beginning of the Apoc. 
Julius Caesar, who was the first emperr»r of the Romans, unto the entl of Frede- ?ip"'"^"i 
ric, who was the last emperor of the Romans. Under this empire Christ suf- 
fered, and other martyrs idso sufl'ered for his name's sake. And here is fallen 
Rome as Babylon, which is all one, according to the manner of speaking in the 
Appcalj'pse, as touching the temporal and corporal power cf governing. And 


liichard thus shall she fail, also, touching the spiritual power of governing, for tlie 
II- multitude of iniquities, and spiritual fornication and merchandise that are com- 
. ^ mitted by her in the church. 

A. u. rpj^g ^ggj. ^£ ^]jg image which Nabuchadnezzar saw, did betoken the empire o 
____ Rome, and part of them were of iron, and part of clay and earth. The part 
The feet (.jjjjj ^^g of iron fell, and the power thereof vanished away, because the 
Image in power thereof was at an end after certain months. That part of clay and earth 
tiie" yet endureth, but it shall vanish away by the testimony of the prophets ; where- 
Nabu- "^ upon St. John in the Apocalypse : ' After that, he saw the part made of iron 
chadnez- rising out of the sea, to which each people, tribe, and tongue, submitted them- 
zarsigni- selves. And he saw another beast coming out of the earth, which had two 
Rome. horns like to the horns of a lamb, and he spake like a dragon, and he vanquished 

the first beast in his sight.' 
The beast This beast, as seemeth me, doth betoken the clay and earthen part of the feet 
with two of ^jjg image, because he came out of the earth ; for that by terrene help he is 
like the made the high and chief priest of the Romans in the church of Christ, and so 
Iamb, from below he ascended on high. But Christ ft-om heaven descended, because 
the"sptri- ^^^^ ^^^ '^^'^" ^^^ God, and Author of every creature, became man ; and he that 
tual do- was Lord of lords, was made in the shape of a servant. And although in the 
minion of heavens the company of angels minister unto him, he himself ministered or 
served on earth, that he might teach us humility, by which a man ascendeth 
into heaven, even as by pride a man goeth down into the bottomless pit. This 
beast hath two horns most like a lamb, because he challengeth to himself both 
the priestly and kingly power above all other here on earth. The Lamb, that 
is Christ, is a king for ever upon the kingly seat of David, and he is a priest for 
ever after the order of Melchisedec, but his kingdom is not of this world, but the 
kingdom of this beast is of this world, because those that be under him fight for 
Jesus is him. And, as Jesus is Christ two manner of ways, because ' Christus' is as much 
Christ j^g ^o gjjy^ 'Unctus,' he verily was anointed king, and anointed priest: so this 
ner of beast saith, that he is chief king and priest. Wherefore doth he call himself 
ways, as Christ ; because Christ, knowing that before, said, ' Many shall come in my 
Priest^" name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.' And thus, because he is 
both king and priest, he challengeth to himself the double sword ; that is, 
The dou- the corporal sword, and the spiritual sword. The corporal sword is in his 
bie sword right hand, and the spiritual sword is in his right eye, by the testimony of 
pope.** Zachariah. But he speaketh subtilely, like a dragon, because, by the testi- 
mony of Christ, he shall deceive many, as the Apocalypse witnesseth. He did 
great wonders, that also he might make more fire to come from heaven into the 
earth in the sight of men, that he might deceive those that dwell upon the 
earth, because of the wonders that are permitted him to do in the sight of the 
beast ; and he overcame the first beast which ascended out of the sea, for that 
beast challenged unto himself authority of government over the whole world. 
He hath put to death and tormented those that resist his commandments, and 
would be honoured as a god upon the earth. The bishop of Rome saith, that 
the whole world ought to be in subjection unto him : those that be disobedient 
unto his commandments he putteth in prison, and to death, if he can. If he 
cannot, he excommunicateth them, and commandeth them to be cast into the 
devil's dungeon. But he that hath no power over the body, much less hath he 
power over the soul. And ti'uly his excommunication, or the excommunication 
of any priest under him, shall at that time little hurt him that is excommuni- 
cated, so that the person of him that is excommunicated be not first excommu- 
nicated of God, through sin. 

And thus it seemeth a truth unto me, that God thus turns their blessings into 
bishop of '^ui'sings, because they give not due glory unto his name : so when they unjustly 
Rome excommunicate and curse, he turneth their cursings into blessings. Also the 
seeketh bishop of Rome doth make men to worship him as God, because the special 
shipped sacrifice that God doth require of us, is to be obedient unto him in keeping 
as God. his commandments. But now the pope's commandments be commanded to be 
mand" '^^P*' ^"^ ''^ '^^P'' ^" '^^'*y ^^^^> ^^^ ^^e Commandments of Christ are contemned 
ments and rejected. "Thus sitteth the bishop of Rome in the temple of God, showing 
more re- himself as God, and extolling himself above all which is called God, or wor- 
thln shipped as God. But in his fall he shall be revealed, because every kingdom 
ciuisfs divided in itself shall be made desolate. He, teaching a truth, is the head of the 

THK Sr.MUKK OK TllK BliAST. 185 

church; but the prophet, teaching a lie. is the tail of the dragon. He, seducing Richard 

the worhl, shall be acknowledged to he the verity of the doctrine of Christ ; but '^ 

after he is known, he shall be n-jected and nougiit esteemed. He givttli to . .. 

small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, marks in their right hands and i-jmi 

in tlieir foreheads, that no man should buy or sell, but those that shall have the — L! — !_ 

marks of the name of the beast, or that look to have of him some recompense, 

small, mean, or great, or else the number of his name, which nund) three 

hundred. The pojie saith, that, in the administration of every sacrament, he 

doth imprint certain characters or marks, into the soul of him that receivcth it. 

In baptism, he saith, that he doth imprint into the soul of him that is baptized, 

a mark that cannot be wiped out; and so likewise in other sacraments. And I In every 

know that in a sacrament are two thiiitrs, that is, the sacramental sign, and the '*"'"'■''•' 

... Ill '^ . , , . ^. . mint two 

spiritual -grace represented by the same sign : the sacramental sign is given to things. 

man by man, but the spiritual grace is given by Christ. 

Wherefore, although a vicious or naughty ])riest doth i)aptize any man, if he that 
is ba])tized or his parents (if he be a child) do ask with faithful meaning, baptism, 
and do mean fiitlifullv hereafter to observe the words of baptism, he is iis well 
baptized, as if lu- were baptized of ever so virtuous a priest. So also the sin- 
ner, who, with all his heart, is sorry for his sins, and doth ask faithfully mercy 
of God, is as well absolved by a vicious j)riest, as by a virtuous : because the 
Lambof(iod which taketh away the sins of the world, wipeth away inwardly 
our sins by his grace, because he is the bishop and pastor of our souls. All 
other priests do outwardly work absolution, who know not for a certainty whe- 
ther tliey have absolved or not : so also is it in the others, because that the 
grace of the sacrament is given by God, and the sacramental sign by man. In 
giving of orders the chief bishop doth imprint the corporal mark ; but of the 
spiritual marks I know none, unless a man will say, that by receiving the ordel 
he hath some belief that he may work some things pertaining to that order 
which, before the receiving of the order, he could not. Hut this one thing is 
certain, that none in the church ought to sell spiritual merchandise (of which 
things we have spoken before), unless he have the mark of the beast. My cavcat 
counsel is, let the buyer be aware of those marks ; because that after the f;dl of emptor 
Babylon, ' If any man hath worshipped the beast and her image, and hath re- 
ceived the mark upon his forehead, ami upon his hand, he shall drink of the 
wine of (Jod's wrath, which is mixed with the wine in the cup of his anger, and 
he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone in the sight of the holy angels, and 
in the sight of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torments shall evermore as- 
cend, although he look for a recompense, small, mean, or great, of tlie beast, or 
else the number of his name.' The beast, doubtless, doth recompense his There- 
friends with his small reward : that is, with great gifts and benefices corporal : wards o( 
with a mean reward, that is, with great spiritual gifts, in authority of blessing, ' * ^**' 
loosing, binding, praying, and exercising other spiritual works; and with his 
greatest reward, which, after they be dead, maketh them to be honoured on 
earth among the saints. The number of his name, according to the opinion of Thenum- 

some men, is. ' Dux cleri' the ' captain of the clergy,' because by that name he is I';^''' "^ 

1 . 1 • . . 1 11 ■ • 1 i" 1 1 • • • 'he n.inie 

named, and maketh his name known, and that name is six hundred and sixty-six. of the 

This is my opinion of the beast ascending out of the earth, and shall be, beast, 
until such time as I shall be of the same beast better instructed. And although ^'"^ *^'''' 
this beast doth signify the Roman bishops, yet the other cruel beiust ascending 
out of the sea doth signify the Roman emperors. And although the drjigon, 
being a cruel bejist, and the false prophet giving the mark, must be thrown 
into the lake of fire and brimstone to be tormented for ever, I would have no 
man to judge; but I leavi- such things altogether to the final judgment of 
Chri.Ht to be deternui\ed. Hut Martin, the pope's confessor, who maketh the More 
chronicle of the emperors and popes, reciteth many errors of the popes, more w'^ked 
horrible and abominable than of the emperors : for he speaketh of the idolatrous ,|,nn em- 
popes, heretical, simoniacal, and popes that were murderers, that used necro- perors. 
mancy and witchcraft, that were fornicators, and defiled with all kind of vice. 
IJut I have partly declared how the f)ope's law is contrary to Christ's law, and 
how he saith. that he is the chief vicar of Christ on earth; and in his deeds is 
contrary to Christ, and doth forsake both his doctrine and life. I cannot see 
who else may be so well .Viitichrist, and a seducer of tlie people, for there is 
not a greater pestilence than a familiar enemy. 






of idola- 


how far 

goods may 
be taken 
away from 

take from 
their be- 

when they 
offend: er- 
go, much 
more may 
take from 
when they 
A pro- 
phecy of 
that tem- 
shall be 
from the 
clergy for 
the multi- 
tude of 
their biiis. 

As concerning idols and the worshipping of them, I think of them as Moses, 
Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremy, and the rest of the prophets did, who all spake 
against the making of images, as also the worshipping of images. And faithful 
David, full of the Spirit of God, saith, ' Let all those be confounded that wor- 
ship images, and that rejoice in idols.' And again he saith, ' Let them be 
made like unto them tliat make them, and all such as put their trust in them.' 
Wherefore I pray God that this evil come not upon me, which is the curse of 
God pronounced by David the prophet : nor ^vill I be, by God's grace, either a 
maker or else a worshipper of images. 

As concerning oaths, I believe and obey the doctrine of the Almighty God, 
and my master Jesus Christ, who teacheth, that christian men, in affirmation 
of a trutli, should pass the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees of the Old 
Testament, or else he excludeth them from the kingdom of heaven. For he 
saith, ' Unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and 
Pharisees, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.' And concerning oaths 
he saith, ' It hath been said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thy- 
self, but shalt perform unto the Lord those things which tliou knowest. But 
I say unto you, Thou sliaU not swear at aU, neither by the heaven, nor yet by 
the earth, &c. But let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay ; for what- 
soever shall be more than this, proceedeth of evil.' Therefore, as the perfec- 
tion of the ancient men of the Old Testament was, not to forswear themselves, 
so the perfection of christian men is, not to swear at all, because they are so 
commanded of Christ, whose commandment must in no case be broken, although 
the city of Rome is contrary to this doctrine of Christ, even as in many things 
she is found contrary to herself. 

As touching the taking away of temporal goods, from those that are ecclesi- 
astical persons offending ' habitualiter,' by such as are temporal lords, I will 
not affirm any thing to be lawful in this matter (as in other matters before) tliat 
is not agreeable to charity. And that, because it is a hard matter for a man to 
take another man's goods from him without breaking of charity ; because, perad- 
venture, he that taketh away is the more moved to such manner of taking 
away, by reason of the desire he hath to those goods, which he endeavoureth to 
take away ; or else, because of some displeasure or hatred to the person from 
whom he goeth about to take away those goods, than that he, from whom tliose 
goods be taken, should be amended. Therefore, unless he that taketh away be 
only moved of charity to the taking away of such goods, I dare not affirm that 
such taking is lawful. And if such taking away proceed of charity, I dare not 
judge it unlawful; because the bishop of Rome, who received his temporal 
dominion of the emperor, when the emperor rebelled and was not obedient unto 
him, deprived him from his temporal jurisdictions : how much more then may 
temporal lords do the same, who have bestowed upon them many temporal 
dominions and lordships, only to the intent that they might the better intend 
to serve God, and keep his commandments? Now if they perceive that they 
be against the laAvs of God, and that they be over-busily occupied about worldly 
matters, I cannot see but that they may well enough take from them tliose 
temporal goods, which to a good purpose they gave them. But if, in time to 
come after this, those that be temporal lords shall take from ecclesiastical 
persons such temporalties, let him that desireth to understand this, read the 
prophet Ezekiel, in the chapter of the shepherds of Israel who fed themselves 
instead of their flock, and also let him read, in the Apocalypse, of the fall of Ba- 
bylon : let him also read the pope's decretals against heretics ; and in those he 
shall find, that the taking away of the temporalties from the clergy, shall come 
to pass for the multitude of their sins. 

Thus, reverend father, have I made mine answer to the matter whereof I am 
accused : beseeching )'ou that as I have been obedient to your desire, and that 
even as a son, declaring unto you the secrets of my heart in plain words, 
although rudely, so I desire to know your opinion, and crave your fatherly 
benevolence, that now your labour may be for my instruction and amendment, 
and not to accusation and condemnation. For like as in the beginning, I have 
promised you, if any man, of what state, sect, or condition soever he be, can 
show me any error, in any of my writings, by the authority of holy Scripture, 
or by any probable reason grounded on the Scriptures, I will receive his 
information willingly and humbly. 


After all the aforesaid tliin<,'s were exhibited and given by the ituhard 


aforesaid Walter Brute, untu the said hislioj) of Merefunl, he further 
appointed to the same Walter, the third ihiy of the month of Oeto- A. J>. 
ber, at tiereford, with the eontinuanee oftlie days following, to hear 
his opinion : whieh third day now at hand, being Friday, a.u. 130.'i, )Jj^'" 
the said Walter Brute apjjeared before him, sitting in commission in aKaiu 
the eathedral ehureh of Hereford, at six o'cloek, or tiiereabout, having manded 
for his assistixnts in the same place, divers prelates and abbots, and a com-^' 
twenty baeiielors of divinity, whereof twelve were monks, and two mission 
doctors of the law. Amongst these wa.^ Nicliohis Hereford, aecom- uponWai- 
panied with many other prelates and worshipful men, anil wise gra- n'ci'^m 
duates in sunilry faculties. Now was the aforesaid Walter apposed ]l">=^°\^ 

PI- • • f ■ 1 11 1- T-< there also 

or his writings aforesaid, and the contents therein. Lamest were prtsent. 
they in picking out of those writings, his heresies, and in sliowing his 
schisms, sundry errors, and divers other things. Now, after they had writinRs 
continued all that day and the two days following (that is, Friday, uruu- e" 
Saturday, and Sunday), in their informations and examinations against ^""n*^''- 
the same Walter Brute, the same Walter Brute submitted himself to 
the determination of the church, and to the coneetion of tiie said 
John, the bishoj), as it appeareth, wcjrd for word, in a scroll written in 
the English tongue : the tenor of which scroll is as followeth : — 

I, Walter Brute, submit myself principally to the evangcly of Jesus Christ, The tenor 
and to tlie determination of holy kirk, and to the general councils of holy kirk, ofhissub- 
And to the sentence and detemiination of the four doctors of holy writ ; that is, ''"*'"°"- 
Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, and Gregory. And I meekly submit me to your 
correction, as a subject ought to his bishop. 

This scroll, as before is recited, in the English tongue, the afore- Thesuu- 
said Walter Bnite read, with a loud and intelligible voice, at the Openly" 
cross in the churchyard, on Monday ; tliat is to say, the sixth of the „''.'',?' ^ 
said month of October, before the sermon made unto tlie people, in 
presence of the said bishop of Hereford and others above written, as 
also other barons, knights, and noblemen, and clergy, and also a great 
multitude of people. After whieh reading of the scroll, the aforesaid 
Thomas Crawlay, bachelor of divinity, made a sermon unto the 
people, and took for his theme the words of the apostle to the 
Romans, chapter xi., that is as followeth : " Be not over-wise in your 
own conceits, but stand in fear," &c. 

Out of these declarations and writings of Walter Brute, the bishop, 
with the monks and doctors above rehearsed, did gather and tb^w out 
certain articles, to the number of thirty-seven, which they sent to the 
tmivcrsity of Cambridge to be confuted, unto two learned men. 
Master Colwill and Master Newton, bachelors of divinity: which 
Masters Colwill and Newton did both labour in the matter, to the 
uttennost of their cunning, in replying and answering to the said 
thirty-seven articles. 

Besides them also, William Woodford, a friar, who wrote likewise 
against the articles of Wieklitf, labouring in the same cause, made a 
solemn and a long tractation ; compiling the articles of the said Brute, 
to the number of nine and twenty : all which treatises as I wish to 
come to the reader's hand, that the slendemess of them might be 
known ; so it may happen perca.«ie, that the same being in my hands 


uichard may hereafter be further publislietl, with other like tractations more, 
^^' as convenient time, for the prolixity thereof, may hereafter better serve 

A. D. than now. 

^'"^91. What, after this, became of this Walter Brute, or what end he 
had, I find it not registered; but like it is, that he for this time 
escaped. Certain other wTitings I find, moreover, which, albeit they 
bear no name of this Walter, nor of any certain author, yet, because 
they are in the same register adjoined to the history of him, I thought, 
therefore, most fit here to be inserted : of which one was a letter sent 
to Nicholas Hereford, a little above specified, who being, at the first, 
a great follower of John WicklifF, as appeareth before, was now in 
the number of them who sat upon this Walter, as is above recorded. 
The copy of this letter, bearing no name of any special author, but 
only as sent by a certain Lollard, as the register doth term him, is 
written in manner and form as followeth. 

The Copy of a Letter sent to Master Nicholas Hereford, by a 
Lollard, as in the Register it is said. 
Forasmuch as no man that putteth his hand to the plough and looketh back, 
is meet for the kingdom of God, as our Saviour Christ saith, what marvel is it, 
although Master Nicholas Hereford, who at the first (by the visitation of the 
Spirit of God, peradventure) put his hand ; that is, gave his diligence unto the 
plough ; that is, to the sowing of tlie word of God and holy Scripture, as well 
in preaching as in doing good works, is now so blind and unskilful to expound 
the Scripture, that he knoweth not what is understood by the kingdom of 

Nicoiai- heaven ? Truly, it is no marvel, O thou that art master of the Nicolaitans ! 

tans. who, like Nicholas, the most false deacon, hast left or forsaken the infallible 
knowledge of the holy Scripture : for the true knowledge of the theological 
verity is shut up as well from thee, as from all the other Nicolaitans following 
thy conditions ; forasmuch as thou goest not in by the door to expound the same 
evangelical verity. 

Therefore, when thou didst recite the other day, first, the pharisaical and 
hj^oci-itical woe (nothing at all to any purpose), thou shouldst have said justly 
in this sort, both of thyself, and other thy followers and religious Antichrists : 
' Woe be unto tis Scribes and Pharisees, which shut up the kingdom of heaven ;' 
that is to say, the true knowledge of the holy Scriptures before men, by our 
false glosses and crooked similitudes : and neither we ourselves enter into the 
same kingdom or knowledge, nor suffer others to enter into it. Wherefore, it 
seemeth unto the faithful sort, that wrongfully, falsely, and without any reve- 
rence, ye have expounded that text of Gregory [1 qusest. 1], that is to say, 
' Quicunque studet,' &:c. For this is the true understanding of the same : 
knowing, first, that there be some priests after the thing and name only ; and it 
doth show that this is true, that whosoever studieth to receive the holy order 
by giving of money, he is not a priest, ' Secundum rem et nomen ;' but, to 
say the tnith, he desireth to be called a priest ; that is, to be a priest ' Secun- 
dum nomen tantum.' And such a priest, who is a priest in name only, is no 
priest ; no more than St. Maiy painted is St. Mary ; or a false doctor a doctor, 
but no doctor ; and a man painted is not a man, but no man. And thus such a 
priest in name only, is not a priest ; because all faithful men do firmly beheve 
with St. Gregory, that no man buying the holy orders, may then be called a 
priest; as he saith [1 quasst. 1], 'They that buy or sell holy orders can be 
no priest.' Whereupon is written, 'anathema dandi,' and 'anathema acci- 
piendi;' that is, 'simoniacal heresy.' Audit followeth, ' How, therefore, if 
they be accursed and not blessed, can they make others blessed ? And when 
they be not in the body of Christ, how can they either receive or dehver the 
body of Christ? He that is accursed, how can he bless?' as though he would 
say. It is impossible. As pope Urban saith [1 queest. 1], 'Si quis a simonia- 
cis,' &c., ' They that wilUngly know and suffer themselves to be consecrated, 
nay rather execrated, of those that are infected with simony, we judge that 


tlieir consecration is altogether void." Also pope Leo [2 qu.i'st. 1 J, saitJi in nicharit 
this wise : ' Grate, if it he not freely given and received, is not grace. Spiri- f^ 
tiial nsnrers do not receive freely : therefore, they receive not the sj)iritual ,^ y 
grace, which specially worketh in the ecclesiastical orders. If they receive it 1391 

not, they iiave it not : if they have it not freely, liiey canhot give it freely. 

And by tJiis it is more clear tlum the light, tliat they who know so much, and 
receive orders by spiritual usury or simony, arc neither ])riests nor deacons, 
neither afler the manner nor character. For if such character or mark were 
otherwise given in giving orders, it were recpiisite always that there should he 
a certain grace imprinti-d in the man ; hut tlure is no such grace given or im- 
])rinted, as afore is manifest. Therefore tliere is no sucli ciiaracter to he feigned. 
Therefore such character or mark abideth not in him, forasmuch as he never 
had, nor hath, the same.' And yet furtliermore, in the same place, ' What 
then do the simoniacal prelates give .'' And lie maketh answer, ' Truly even 
that which they have, as the spirit of lying, llow prove we this? Because 
that if it be the spirit of verity, as the same verity doth testify from whom it 
Cometh, it is freely received.' And it foUoweth for tlie whole purpose no doubt, 
' it is convicted to be the spirit of lying, which is not freely received.' 

By this it appcareth luaiiifestly to the faithful sort, that those who wittingly 
and simoniacally are made priests, forasmuch as they receive not the character 
of the Lord, but oidy the spirit of lying, and the mark of Simon Magus and of 
Judiis the traitor, they be not priests, either according to the mark or manner : 
and such do no more make the sacraments of church, than other laymen may 
in the time of necessity ; nor yet so truly, during their heretical naughtiness. 
And yet indeed, brother mine, ' uni voce natura,' but yet ' a'qui voce in mori- Urothcr 
bus;' I do not wTite thus sharply unto you, through anger, or any imperfect i""a'"ro-. 
hate, but through the perfect hate of your horrible heresy, and denjnng the ^ers no 
faith of Christ, that I may say with David in the Psalm, ' Perfecto odio oderam,' brother. 
&c. .Vnd I am very sorry for you, that you, who, in times past have excellently 
well and fruitfidly preached the gospel in the pulpit, do now as well fail in the 
congniity of the Latin tongue, as in the other science natural. For, as it was 
heard, thrice in one lecture you said ' appetitis;' that is to say, pronouncing 
the middle sj'Ilable long, which thing not only the masters, but also the young 
scholars understood. And many other faults there were in grammar, which for 
shame I dare not recite. I send unto you these five conclusions. 

1. It is an infallible verity that the words of the four chief doctors, e.xpound- Kve «oti- 
ing the holy Scripture according to the verity which the words do pretend, are '^'"*''"'*- 
to be holden and kept. 

2. He who importeth any equivocation out of any of the doctors expounding, 
for the colouring of his text, his equivocation is always to be left. 

3. No perversion of any reprobate is able to turn the congregation of the 
elect from the faith, because all things that sliall come to pass, are eternally in 
God, devised and ordained for the best unto the elect Cliristians. 

4. Like as the mystical body of Christ is the congregation of all the elect, so 
Antichrist, mystically, is the church of the wicked and of all the rejirobates. 

5. The conclusions of Swinderby be agreeable to the faith in every ])art. 

This letter was thus subscribed : ' By the Spirit of God, sometime 
visiting you.' 

Besides this epistle above prefixed, there is also found annexed to 
the same, a deviec of another cerUiin letter counterfeited under the 
name of Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, writini,' to the pope ami all 
popish prelates, persecuting; the true and ri,i,dit church with all mi^ht 
and main, to maintain their pride and domination in this earth, under 
a colourable pretence and visor of the catholic church and succession 
apostolical : which letter, althoui^h it seemeth in some authors to be 
ascribed to Ocham, above mentioned ; yet, because I find it in the 
same register of the church of Hereford contained, and inserted 
among the tractations of Walter Brute, and devised, as the register 



Richard saitli,' by tlie Lollards, I tliought no nieeter place than here -to 
^^' annex the same ; the tenor whereof thus proceedeth in the following 


The dif- 

of the 
tive, and 
of the 
Pride de- 
stroy eth. 

Placing of 
the cause 
of all mis- 

well go- 
since the 
devil's of- 
taken by 


Pride in 


The Device or Counterfeit of a certain Letter, feigned under the 
name of Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, written to the proud and 
persecuting Prelates of the Popish Clergy. 

I, Lucifer, prince of darkness and profound heaviness, emperor of the 
mysteries of the king of Acheron, captain of the dungeon, Erebus king of hell, 
and controller of the infernal fire : To all our children of pride, and companions 
of our kingdom ; and especially to our princes of the church of this latter age 
and time (of which our adversary Jesus Christ, according to the prophet, saith, 
' I hate the church or congregation of the wicked)' send greeting ; and wish 
prosperity to all that obey our commandments, as also to those that be obedient 
to the ^laws of Satan already enacted, and that are diligent observers of our 
behests, and the precepts of our decree. 

Know ye that in times past certain vicars or vicegerents of Christ, following 
his steps in miracles and virtues, living and continuing in a beggarly life, con- 
verted, in a manner, the whole world from the yoke of our tyranny unto their 
doctrine and manner of life, to the great derision and contempt of our prison- 
house and kingdom, and also to the no little prejudice and hurt of our juris- 
diction and authority ; not fearing to hurt our fortified power, and to offend 
the majesty of our estate. For then received we no tribute of the world, nei- 
ther did the miserable sort of common people rush at the gates of our deep dun- 
geon as they were wont to do, with continual pealing and rapping ; but then the 
easy, pleasant, and broad way, which leadeth to death, lay still without great 
noise of trampling travellers, neither yet was trod with the feet of miserable 
men. And when all our courts were without suitors, hell then began to howl ; 
and thus, continuing In great heaviness and anguish, was robbed and spoiled : 
which thing considered, the impatient rage of our stomach could no longer 
suffer, neither the ugly reckless negligence' of our great captain-general could 
any longer endure ; but we, seeking remedy for the time that should come 
after, have provided us of a very trim shift. For, instead of these apostles and 
other their adherents who draw by the same line of theirs, as well in manners 
as doctrine, and are odious enemies unto us, we have caused you to be their suc- 
cessors, and put you in their place, who be prelates of the church in these latter 
times, by our great might and subtlety, as Christ hath said of you : ' They 
have reigned, but not by me.' Once we promised unto him all the kingdoms 
of the world, if he would fall down and worship us ; but he would not, saying, 
'My kingdom is not of this world,' and went his way when the multitude 
would have made him a temporal king. But to you, truly, who are fallen from 
the state of grace, and that serve us in the earth, is that my promise fulfilled ; 
and by our means all terrene things which we have bestowed upon you, are 
under your government : for he hath said of us, as ye know, ' The prince of 
this world cometh,' &c. and hath made us to reign over all children of imbe- 
lief. Therefore our adversaries before recited did patiently submit themselves 
unto the princes of the world, and did teach that men should do so, saying, 
' Be ye subject to every creature for God's cause, whether it be to the king, as 
most chief :' and again, ' Obey ye them that are made rulers over you,' &c. 
For so their master commanded them, saying, ' The kings of the heathen 
have dominion over them,' &c. But I think it long till we have pom-ed our 
poison upon the earth, and therefore fill yourselves full. 

And now, be ye not only unlike those fathers, but also contrary unto them in 
your life and conditions ; and extol yourselves above all other men. Neither 
give ye to God that which belongeth to him, nor yet to Caesar that which is 
his: but exercise you the power of both the swords,^ according to our decrees, 
making yourselves doers in worldly matters, fighting in our quarrel, entangled 

(1) Second edition, " Ougle rechelous negligence." — Ed. 

(2) The double jurisdiction of the pope's two swords cometh of Lucifer. 


with secular labours and business. And climb yc, by little and little, from the jnchard 
miserable state of poverty, unto the highest seats of all honours, and the most H- 
princely places of dignity by your devised practices, and false and deceitful . . 
wiles and subtlety: that is, by hypocrisy, flatteiy, lying, perjury, treasons, de- inq-i 
ceits, simony, and other greater wickedness than which our infernal furies may ' 
devise. For after ye have by us been advanced thither where ye would be, yet Popish 
that doth not suffice you, but, as greedy shavelings, more hungry than ye were pitlates 
before, ye suppress the poor, scratch and rake together all that comes to hand, {o Go" 
perverting and tui'ning everj' thing topsyturv)'; so swollen, that ready ye are to norC^sar 
burst for pride, living like lechers in all coi-porai delicateness, and by fraud ^^^J" "^^* 
directing all your doings. You challenge to yourselves names of honour belongeth 
in the earth, calling yourselves lords, holy, yea and most holy persons. to God 

Thus, either by violence ye raven, or else by ambition subtilelyje pilfer away, ^^sar 
and wrongfully wrest, and by false title possess, those goods, which, for the sus- Donjinos 
tentation of the poor members of Christ (whom from our first fall we have Sanctos. 
hated;, were bestowed and given, consuming them as ye yourselves list, and there- Sanctis- 
with ye cherish and maintain an innumerable sort of lechers and strumpets, 
with whom ye ride pompously, like mighty princes, far otherv\nse going tlian 
those poor beggarly priests of the primitive church. For I would ye should build 
yourselves rich and gorgeous palaces : yea, and fare like princes, eating and 
diinking the daintiest meats and pleasantest wines that may be gotten : 
hoard and heap together an infinite deal of treasure, not like to him that 
said, 'Gold and silver have I none :' serve and fight iOr us according to your 
wages! O most acceptable society or fellowship, promised to us by the pro- 
phet, and of those fathers long ago reproved : whust that Christ called thee 
' the synagogue of Satan,' ana likened thee to the mighty whore which com- 
mitted fornication with the kings of the earth, the adulterous spouse of Christ, 
and of a chaste person made a strumpet. Thou hast left thy first love and hast 
cleaved unto us, O our beloved Babylon ! O our citizens, who from the trans- 
migration of Jerusalem come hither! we love you for yoiir deserts; we rejoice 
over you, who contemn the laws of Simon Peter, and embrace the laws of 
Simon Magus our friend, and have them at your fingers' ends; and exercise The pope, 
the same publiclj', buying and selling spiritual things in the church of God, successor 
and against the commandment of God. Ye give benefices and honours by gf^"^ 
petition, or else for money ; for favour, or else for filthy ser\'ice : and refusing Peter, 
to admit those that be worthy, to ecclesiastical dignities, and preferring those ^^ "^ 
that are unworthy, you call unto the inheritance of God's sanctuary, bawds, Magus, 
liars, flatterers, your nephews, and your own children ; and to a childish boy 
ye give manj' prebends, the least whereof ye deny to bestow upon a poor good 
man : ye esteem the person of a man, and receive gifts ; ye regard money and 
have no regard of souls. Ye have made the house of God, a den of thieves. 

All abuse, all extortion is more exercised a hundred-fold in your judgment- Extor- 
seats, than by any secular tyrant. Ye make laws and keep not the same ; and tion. 
ye dispense with your dispensations as it pleaseth you; you justify the wicked ^f^f"^ 
for rewards, and you take away the just man's desert from him. And, briefly, justice. 
ye perpetrate or commit all kind of mischief, even as it is our will j-e should. Accep- 
And ye take much pain for lucre's sake, in our service, and, especially, to pe''r"ons 
destroy the christian faith ; for now the lay-people are almost in doubt what Briberj-. 
they may believe ; because, if ye preach any thing to them (as sometimes, ^°^'^ "^ 
although it be but seldom seen, and that negligently enough, even as we would Destruc- 
have it), yet notwithstanding they believe you not, because they see mani- t'on if 
festly that ye do clean contrary to that ye say. Whereupon the common people, J-™,^ 
doing as ye do who have the government of them, and should be an example 
to them of well-doing, now, many of them, leaning to your rules, do run head- 
long into a whole sea of vices, and so, continually, a very great multitude flocketh 
at the strong and well fenced gates of our dungeon. And doubtless ye send us 
so many day by day, of every sort and kind of people, that we should not be 
able to entertain tliem, but that our insatiable chaos, with her thousand ravening 
jaws, is sufficient to devour an infinite number of souls : and thus the sovereignty T^e popa 
of our empire by you hath been reformed, and our intolerable loss restored, ^"h'^hgi^i" 
Wherefore, most specially we commend you, and give you most hearty thanks ; 
exhorting you all, that in any wise ye persevere and continue, as hitherto ye 
have done; neither that you slack henceforth your enterprize. For why? by 





of peace 

man em- 
pire craf- 
tily sub- 
verted by 


Richard your helps, we purpose to bring the whole world again under our power and do- 
^^- minion. 

Over and besides this, we commit unto you no small authority, to supply our 
places in the betraying of your brethren ; and we make and ordain you our 
vicars, and the ministers or Antichrist our son, now hard at hand, for whom ye 
have made a very ti-im way and passage. 

Furthermore, we counsel you who occupy the highest rooms of all others, 
A feigned that you work subtilel}^, and that ye feignedly procure peace between the princes 
procurer of the world, and that ye cherish and procure secret causes of discord. And, 
like as craftily ye have destroyed and subverted the Roman empire, so suffer ye 
no kingdom to be overmuch enlarged or enriched by tranquillity and peace ; 
lest perhaps, in so great tranquillity (all desire of peace set aside), they dispose 
themselves to view and consider your most wicked works, suppressing on 
every side your estate ; and from your treasures take away such substance 
as we have caused to be reserved and kept in your hands, until the coming of 
our well-beloved son Antichrist. 

We would ye should do our commendations to our entirely beloved daugh- 
ters, Pride, Deceit, Wrath, Avarice, Belly-cheer, and Lechery, and to all other 
the pope's Qy^ daughters ; and specially to Simonj% who hath made you men, and enriched 
you ; and hath given you suck with her own breasts, and weaned you, and 
therefore see that you in no wise call her Sin. And be ye lofty and proud, be- 
cause that the most high dignity of your estate doth require such magnificence : 
and also be ye covetous, for whatsoever ye get and gather into your fardel, it 
is for St. Peter, for the peace of the church, and for the defence of your patri- 
mony and the crucifix ; and therefore ye may lawfully do it. 

Ye may promote your cardinals to the highest seat of dignities without any 
let in all the world, in stopping the mouth of our adversary Jesus Christ, 
and alleging again, that he preferred his kinsfolks (being but of poor and 
base degree) unto the apostleship : but do not you so, but rather call, as ye 
do, those that live in arrogancy, in haughtiness of mind, and in filthy le- 
chery, unto the state of wealthy riches and pride ; and those rewards and pro- 
motions, which the followers of Christ forsook, do you disti-ibute unto your 

Therefore, as ye shall have better understanding, prepare ye vices cloaked 
under the similitude of virtues. Allege for yourselves the glosses of the holy 
Scripture, and wrest them dii'ectly to serve your purpose : and if any man 
preach or teach otherwise than ye will, oppress ye him violently with the sen- 
tence of excommunication ; and, by your censures heaped one upon another, 
by the consent of your brethren, let him be condemned as a heretic, and let 
him be kept in most strait prison, and there tormented till he die, for a terrible 
example to all such as confess Christ. And, setting all favour apart, cast him 
out of your temple ; lest, peradventure, the ingrafted word may save your souls, 
which word I do abhor, as I do the souls of other faithful men. And do your 
endeavour, that ye may deserve to have the place which we have prepared for 
you, under the most wicked foundation of our dwelling-place. 

Fare ye well, with such felicity as we desire and intend, finally, to reward and 
recompense you with. 

Given at the centre of the earth, in that our dark place, where all the 
rabblement of devils were present, specially for this purpose called 
unto our most dolorous consistory ; under the character of our terrible 
seal, for the confirmation of the premises.' 

ing of 

rich car- 

ing of 

and cruel- 
ty of the 




Who was the true author of this poesy or epistle above written, 
it is not evidently known ; neither doth it greatly skill. The matter 
being well considered on their part who here be noted, may minister 
unto them sufficient occasion of wholesome admonition, either to 
remember themselves what is amiss, or to bethink Avith themselves 
what is to be amended. Divers other writings of like argument, 
both before and since, have been devised ; as one, bearing the title 

(1) Ex Registro Herefordensi, ad verbum. 


* Lucifeii ad males Principes Ecclesiasticos,'' imprinted first at Paris nuhard 
in Latin ; and under the writing thereof, bearing this date, ' Anno a " 
Palatii nostri fractione, consortiumquc nostrorum substractione, A.D. 
1351 ;' "which, if ye count from the passion of the Lord, reacheth ^^^^- 
well to the time of Wickliff, a. d. 1385. which was above six years other 
before the examination of this Walter Brute. Lucifer. 

There is also another epistle of Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, ' ad 
Proelatos,'' mentioned in the epistle of the scliool of Prague, to the 
university of Oxford, set forth by Hulderic Hutten, about a. d. (as 
it is there dated) 1370; which seemcth to be written before this 

Also Vincentius' infen-eth like mention of a letter of the fiends 
infernal to the clergjTnen, as in a vision represented, four hundred 
years before ; in which the devils give thanks to the spiritual men, 
for that by their silence, and not preaching the gospel, they sent in- 
finite souls to hell, &c. 

Divers other letters also of like device have been written, and also 
recorded in authors : whereunto may he added, that one Jacobus Car- 
thusiensis, writing to the bishop of Wonns, alleged out of the pro- 
phesy of Hildegard, in these words :^ " Therefore, the devil may 
say of you priests in himself, ' The meats of banqueting dishes, 
and feasts of all kind of pleasure, I find in these men ; yea also 
mine eyes, mine ears, my belly, and all my veins be full of their 
frothing, and my breasts be full stuffed with their riches,'' " &c. " Fiu:- 
thermore," saith he, " they labour every day to rise up higher with 
Lucifer, but every day they fall with him more deeply." 

Hereunto also pertaineth a story written, and commonly found in xue devii 
many old written books. In the year of our Lord, 1228, at Paris, in a ^1",^^^ ^g 
s}Tiod of the clergy, there was one appointed to make a sermon, who ciergy- 
being very careful in his mind, and solicitous what to sav, the devil 
came to him, asking him. Why he was so careful for his matter that 
he should preach to the clergy. Say thus, quoth he, " The princes The si- 
of hell salute you, O you princes of the church ! and gladly give p^dests 
you thanks, because through your default and negligence it cometh pjeachin" 
to pass, that all souls go down to hell." Adding, moreover, that the gos- " 
he was also enforced by the commandment of God to declare the daineth 
same ; yea, and that a certain token, moreover, was given to the ™^"^ ^ 
said clerk for a sign, whereby the synod might evidently see that he 
did not lie.^ 

The Bull of Pope Boniface to the Bishop of Hereford, against the 


Boniface, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to the reverend brother, 
John, bishop of Hereford, sendeth greeting and apostolical benediction. We 
mean to wnte unto our well-beloved son in Christ, Richard, the renowned king 
of England, in form enclosed within these presents. Therefore we will and 
command your brotherhood, that, as much as ye may, ye study and endeavour 
yourself to exhort and induce the same king to do those things which we have 

(1) In Speculo Hist. lib. 25. cap. 89. 

(2) ' Ideo et diabolus in scmetipso de vobis sacerdotibus, ait ; Escas epulantium, convivia et 
omnes volupiates in istic invenio ; sed et oculi, et aures, et venter meus, et venae mca, de syumis 
Ulorum plenae sunt, ^et ubera mea plena sunt divitiis illorum,' &c. 

(3) Ex Catal. Illj-r. fol. 546. 







written unto liim, as it is said before. And, notwithstanding that now, many a 
day, you ougiit to have done it of yourself, and not to look that we should per- 
suade you to that eiiect by us written, you may proceed as well by our authority, 
as by your own, forasmuch as it was given you before : that hereafter we may 
know effectually by your diligence, what zeal your devotion bcareth unto the 
catliolic faith, and to the conserving of the ecclesiastical honour, and also to the 
execution of yoin* pastoral office. 

Given at Rome at St, Peter's, the 1 5th of the Kalends of October, the 
sixth year of our bishop-like dignity. 

wild bull 
let loose 
the ser- 
vants of 
what sor- 
row the 

Tlie dra- 
gon here 
out his 
floods of 
water to 
drown the 

the spirit 
of the 

The tenor of the Bull, to the renowned Prince, Richard, by the grace 
of God, King of England and of France, whereof mention is made 
above, as followeth, and is thus much in effect. 

To our well-beloved son in Christ, Richard, the noble king of England, we 
send greeting, &c. It grieveth us from the bottom of our hearts, and our holy 
mother the church in all places through Christendom lamenteth. We under- 
stand that there be certain heresies sprung up, and do, without any condign re- 
straint, range at their own liberty, to the seducing of the faithful people, and 
do every day, with overmuch liberty, enlarge their indiscreet bounds. But how 
much the more carefully we labour for the preservation both of you and your 
famous kingdom, and also for the sincerity of the faith, and do with much more 
ardent desire covet that the prosperous state of the same should be preserved 
and enlarged, the sting of greater soitow doth so mucli the more penetrate and 
molest us, forasmuch as we see (alas the while !) in out time, and under the 
regal presidence of your most Christian government, a certain crafty and hair- 
brained sect of false Christians in the same your kingdom to grow and increase ; 
who call themselves, ' The poor men of the treasury of Christ and his disciples,' 
and whom the common people by a more sound name call ' Lollards' (as a man 
would say, ' withered darnel'), according as their sins require ; and perceive that 
they may wax strong, and as it were prevail against the diocesans of some places, 
and other governors, as they meet together, not courageously addressing them- 
selves against them as they ought to do (whereof chiefly, and not undeservedly, 
I give them admonition), for that they take, thereby, the more bold presumption 
and stomach among the unlearned people.' And forasmuch as those whom we 
cannot call men, but the damnable shadows or ghosts of men, do rise up against 
the sound faith, and the holy universal church of Rome ; and that very many of 
them being indifferently learned, which (to the confusion and eternal damna- 
tion of some of them) they got sitting upon their mother's lap, the said church 
of Rome, do rise up or inveigh against the determination of the holy fathers, 
with too much presiunptuous boldness, to the subversion of the whole ecclesi- 
astical order and estate ; and have not been afraid, nor are yet afraid, publicly 
to preach very many erroneous, detestable, and heretical articles, for that they 
are not put to silence, I'eproved, driven out, rooted out, or otherwise punished, 
by any that hath authority and the fear and love of God. And also they are 
not afraid openly to write the same articles, and so being written, to deli\-er them 
to your kingly parliament, and obstinately to affirm the same : the venomous 
and disdainful recital of which articles, upon good advisement, at this present 
Ave pass over, lest the sufferance of such sensuality might fortune to renew the 
wound that reason may heal. Yet notwithstanding, lest so great and contagious 
an evil should escape unpunished, and that without deserved vexation ; and, 
also, that it might not get more heart, and wax more strong, we, therefore, (ac- 
cording to what our office and duty is, where is such negligence and sluggish- 
ness of our prelates, being present where this thing is), do commit and give in 
commandment to our reverend brethren, the archbishops of Canterbury and 
York, by other our letters, that they stand up in the power of God against this 
pestilent and contagious sect, and that they lively persecute the same in form of 
law ; root out and destroy those, that advisedly and obstinately refuse to withdraw 
their foot from the same stumbling-block, any restraint to the contrary notwith- 
standing. But, because the assistance, counsel, favour, and aid of your kingly 

(1) As though no learning were but in the church of Rome. 

THE king's commission AGAINfST THE FRIARS. 195 

estate and highness are requisite to the execution of the premises, we require, Richard 
exhort, and beseech the same your princely higliness, by the bowels of the ^^- 
mercy of Jesus Christ, by his holy faith, by your own salvation, by the benefit a r\ 
that to all men is common, and by the prosperity assured to evei-y man and loni" 
woman, that not only your kingly severity may readily show, and cause to be 

showed unto our archbishops and their commissaries (in this behalf requiring the -The 
aforesaid due execution) convenient aid and favour, as otherwise also to cause jesus 
them to be assisted ; but that also you will enjoin your magistrates and justices Christ be 
of assize and peace more straitly, that of their own good wills they execute the J^^'g p' 
authoritj-, committed unto men, with all severity, against such damned men, ac- the 
cording as they are bound by the ofiice which they are put in trust with : against ''"wels of 
those, I mean, who have determined obstinately to dolilo themselves in their fufi of'^'^ 
malice and sins, those to expel, banish, and imprison, iind there so long to keep tyranny, 
them, till condign sentence shall pronounce them worthy to sutler punishment. 
For your kingly wisdom seeth that such as they be, do not only deceive poor 
simple souls, or at least do what they can to deceive them, but also bring their 
bodies to destruction, and, further, prepare confusion and ruinous fall unto their 
temporal lords. Go to, therefore, my sweet son, and endeavour yourself to Help the 
work so in this matter as luidoubtedly we trust you will : that, as this firebrand P?pe ata 
(burning and flaming oversore) began imder your presidence or government : else he is 
so, under your severe judgment and virtuous diligence, might, favour, and aid, like to 
there may not one spark remain hid under the ashes, but that it be utterly ex- ^^jj^ ^ 
tingiiished, and speedily put out. 

Given at om- palace of St. Peter at Rome, the 15th of the Kalends of 
October, in the sixth year of our pontificality. 

The King's Commission. 

Richard, by the grace of God king of England and of France, and lord of 
Ireland, to all those unto whom these present letters shall come, greeting. 
Know ye, that whereas lately, at the instance of the reverend father William, 
archbishop of Canterbury, metropolitan of all England, and legate of the apo- 
stolical see, we, for the redress and amendment of all those who would obsti- 
nately preach or maintain, publicly or privily, any conclusions of the holy 
Scripture repugnant to the determination of our holy mother the church, and 
notoriously redounding to the subversion of the catholic faith, or containing any 
heresy or error, within the province or bishopric of Canterbury, have, by our 
special letters patent, in the zeal of the faith, given authority and license 
unto the aforesaid .archbishop, and to all and singular his suftragans, to arrest 
all and every of them that will preach or maintain any such conclusions, 
wheresoever they may be found ; and to commit them either to their own 
prisons, or any other at their own pleasure, and to keep them in the same, 
until they repent them of the errors and pravities of those heresies ; or till that 
of such manner of arrests, by us or by our council it should be otherwise deter- 
mined ; that is to say, to every one of them and their ministers throughout their 
cities and dioceses. And now the reverend father in God, John, bishop of xhe hot 
Hereford, hath for a certainty informed us, that although the same bishop hath, com- 
according to justice, convinced a certain fellow named AVilliam Swinderb}-, pre- cj,a"itv"of 
tending himself to be a chaplain, and one Stephen Bell, a learned man, and hath the 
pronounced them heretics, and excommunicate, and false informei's among the ^f^^, 
common people, and hath declared the same by the definitive sentence of the foj-^ 
aforesaid bishop, for that they have presumed to affirm and preach openly, 
in divers places within the diocese of Hereford, many conclusions or naught}' 
opinions notoriously redounding to the subversion of the catholic sound faith, 
and tranquillity of our kingdom : the same bishop notwithstanding, neither by 
the ecclesiastical censures, neither by the force and strength of our commission, 
was able to revoke the aforesaid William and Stephen, nor yet to bridle the 
malice and obdurate contumacy of them : for that they, after they were upon 
such heretical pravity convicted by the same bishop (to the intent they might Furiso 
delude his judgment and justice), conveyed themselves, by and by, unto the ne com- 
borders of Wales, with such as were their factors and accomplices, keeping I'lajf^,,, 
themselves close, unto whom the force of our said letters doth in no wise ex- 
tend. Whereupon the said bishop hath made supplication unto us, that we will 

o 2 


Richard vouchsafe to provide a sufficient remedy in that behalf. We therefore, wlio 
^^- always, by the help of Almighty God, are defenders of the faith, willing to 
withstand such presumptuous and perverse enterprises by the most safe way 
' ■ ^' and means we may, give and commit full power and authority to the aforesaid 
bishop and to his ministers, by the tenor of these presents, to arrest or take, or 
cause to be arrested or taken the aforesaid William and Stephen, in any place 
within the city and diocese of Hereford and our dominion of Wales, with all 
the speed that may be ; and to commit them either to our prison, or else to the 
prison of the same bishop, or any other prison at their pleasure, if such need be, 
and there to keep them safe. And afterwards, unless they will obey the com- 
mandments of the church, with diligence to bring them before us and our coun- 
cil, or else cause them to be brought ; that we may detennine for their further 
punishment, as we shall think it requisite and convenient to be done by the ad- 
Pseudo- vice of our council, for the defence and preservation of the catholic faith. And 
catholica that the aforesaid William and Stephen, being succoured by the aid of their 
"^^^ fautors or favourers, should not be able to fly or escape to their accustomed start- 
ing holes, and that the sharpness of their pains, so aggravated, may give them 
sufficient cause to return to the lap again of their holy mother the church ; we 
straitly charge and command all and singular our sheriffs, bailiffs, barons, and 
all other our officers in the city and diocese of Hereford, and in many other 
places being within our dominion of Wales, by the tenor of these presents, that, 
from time to time, where they think it most meet, they cause it openly to be 
proclaimed in our name, that none, of what state, degree, pre-eminence, kind or 
other condition he shall be, do cherish, openly or secretly, the aforesaid William 
and Stephen, vmtil the time that they repent them of their heresies and errors, 
and shall be reconciled unto the holy church of God : neither that any person 
or persons be believers, favourers or receivers, defenders, or in any case wit- 
tingly instructors of the said William or Stephen, or any other of the residue of 
the heretics that are to be convinced, upon the forfeiture of all that ever they 
have. And that also they, giving their attendance, be obedient and answerable 
to the aforesaid bishop and his deputies in this behalf for the execution of the 
premises : and that they certify us and our council distinctly and plainly, from 
time to time, of the names of all and singular persons, who shall fortune to be 
found culpable in this behalf, under their seals. In witness whereof, we have 
caused these our lettei's patent to be made. 

Witness ourself at Westminster, the ninth day of March, in the fifteenth 
year of our reign. 


Another Letter of King Richard, against Walter Brute and 


Richard, by the grace of God, king of England and of France, and lord of 
Ireland, to his beloved and faithful John Chaundos, knight; John Eynford, 
knight ; Renold de la Bere, knight ; Walter Deveros, knight ; Thomas de la 
Bare, knight; William Lucy, knight; Leonard Hakeluke, knight; and to the 
mayor of the city of Hereford, to Thomas Oldcastle, Richard Nash, Roger 
Wygmore, Thomas Waylwayne, John Skydmore, John Up-Harry, Henry Mor- 
ton, and to the sheriff of Hereford, sendeth salutations. 

Forasmuch as it is advertised us, that one Walter Brute, and other such chil- 
dren of iniquity, have damnably holden, affirmed, and preached, certain articles 
and conclusions, being notoriously repugnant against the holy Scripture, of 
which some of them as heresies, and the rest as errors, are finally by the church 
condemned, and that, in divers places within the diocese of Hereford and parts 
near adjoining, both privily, openly, and obstinately, which thing we perceive 
not only to redound to the subversion, in a manner, of the catholic faith, which, 
as well we, as other catholic princes, ought of duty to maintain, but also to fore- 
warn us of the subversion of our faithful diocesans : and that the said bishop, 
upon the good dehberation and advisement of a great number of doctors in 
divinity, and other learned and skilful men in the Scriptiu-es, of special devotion, 
according to his bounden duty, purposed to begin and make divers and sundry 
processes by law to be sent unto the aforesaid Walter and his accomplices to 
appear personally before him and other the doctors aforesaid in the cathedral 
church of Hereford, the morrow after the translation of St: Thomas of Here- 



ford next ensuing, and to proceed in tlie same place against the same Walter, Richard 

in the foresaid articles and conclusions, for the amendment of his soul: and : — 

that they now afresh (because the said Walter and others of their retinue, cleav- A. D. 

ing and confederating with him, might not sutler condign pains according to 1394. 

their demerits) endeavour themselves to make void and frustrate the said godly ^^T~ 

purpose of the same bishop, in such correction and execution as should have ^^g ^oc- 

been done, and with force do resist and let the same with all the power they trine of 

may, to the great contempt of us and of our crown, and to the breaking and ^af^ver 

hurting of our peace, and pernicious example of others : we do appoint you, against 

and every of vou, immediately as soon as this our commission shall be delivered resi'^t- 
• 1 1 1/. 1 1 1 i- • ^1 I- ance, 

unto you, m our benalt and name, to make open proclamation m the uiocese i,^^,, j^ 

and parts aforesaid, where ye shall think it most meet and convenient : that no this nice 
man be so hardy henceforth, of what state or condition soever he shall be, within J^J', 
the diocese and parts aforesaid, upon pain of forfeiture of all that ever he hath, 
to make or levy any conventicles, assemblies, or confederacies, by any colour ; 
or that they presume to attempt to procure any other thing, whereby our peace 
may be hurt or broken, or that the same bishops and doctors aforesaid may be 
by any means molested, or let, in the execution of such correction as is to be 
done, according to the canonical sanctions ; and to arrest all those whom ye 
shall find, or take offending in this behalf, or that keep themselves in any such 
conventicles ; and that they, being committed to prison, be there kept, till you 
shall have other commandment from us and from our council for their deliver- 
ance ; and that ye distinctly and plainly certify us, and our said council, of all 
your doing in this behalf under your seals, or else the seals of some of you. And 
therefore, we straitly charge and command you and every of you, that ye 
diligently attend upon the premises, and that in your deeds ye execute the same 
with all diligence and careful endeavour in the form and manner aforesaid. 
And further we give strait charge and commandment to all and singular sheriffs, 
mayors, bailifis, constables, and other our faithful subjects, by the tenor of these 
presents ; that they be attending upon you, counselling and aiding you and 
every ot you, as is meet and convenient, in the doing and execution of the pre- 
mises. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters patent to be made. 
Witness myself at Westminster the 22d day of September, in the seven- 
teenth year of our reign. 

By the same king and council. 

Thus king Richard, by the setting on of William Courtney, arch- King 
bishop of Canterbury and his fello\vs, taking part with the pope and set'^ ^" 
Romish prelates, Avaxed somewhat strait and hard to the poor Chris- \f^'^^^_ 
tians of the contrary side of WicklifF, as by these letters above prefixed \:^^^l^^ 
may appear ; albeit, during all the life of the said king I find of none wshop 
expressly by name that suffered burning. Notwithstanding some p^iat*)! 
there were, who, by the aforesaid archbishop William Courtney, and 
other bishops, had been condemned, and divers also abjured, and did 
penance as well in other places, as chiefly about the town of Leicester, 
as followeth here to be declared out of the archbishop's register and 

At what time the said archbishop, William Courtney, was in his 
visitation at the town of Leicester, certain there were, accused and de- 
tected to him, by the monies and other priests in the said town : the 
names of which persons there detected were, one Roger Dexter, 
Nicholas Taylor, Richard WagstafF, Michael Scrivener, William 
Smith, John Henry, William Parchmeanar, and Roger Goldsmith, 
inhabitants of the same town of Leicester. These, with others besides, 
were denounced to the archbishop for holding the opinion of the sa- 
crament of the altar, f)f auricular confession, and other sacraments, 
contrary to that which the church of Rome doth preach and observe : 

(I) Ex Rcgist. \V. Courtney, Arcn. Cant. 


Richard all which parties above-named, and many others, whose names are not 

'. known, did hold these heresies and errors here under-written, and which 

A. D. are of the Romish church condemned. 

I. That in the sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration, there 
remaineth the body of Christ with the material bread. 

II. That images ought not to be worshipped in any case, and that no man 
ought to set any candle before them. 

III. That no cross ought to be worsliipped. 

IV. The masses and matins ought not, with a high and loud voice, to be said in 
the church. 

V. Tiiat no curate or priest, taken in any crime, can consecrate, hear confes- 
sions, or minister any of the sacraments of the church. 

VI. That tlie pope and all prelates of the church cannot bind any man with 
the sentence of excommunication, unless they know him to hz iirst excommu- 
nicated of God. 

VII. That no prelate of the church can grant any pardons. 

VIII. That every lay-man may, in every place, preach and teach the gospel. 

IX. That it is sin to give any alms or charity to the friars preacliers, mino- 
rites, Augustines, or Carmelites. 

X. That no oblation ought to be used at the funerals of the dead. 

XI. That it is not necessary to make confession of our sins to the priest. 

XII. That every good man, although he be unlearned, is a priest. 

These articles they taught, preached, and affirmed manifestly, in the 
town of Leicester, and other places adjoining ; whereupon the said 
archbishop admonished the said Roger and Nicholas, with the rest, on 
the next day to make answer unto him in the said monastery to the 
aforesaid articles : but the aforesaid Roger and Nicholas, with the rest, 
hid themselves out of the way, and appeared not. Whereupon the 
archbishop, upon Allhallows-day, being the first day of November, 
celebrating the high mass at the high altar in the said monastery, 
being attired in his pontificalibus, denounced the said parties, with 
all their adherents, fautors, favourers, and counsellors, to be excom- 
Roger, municated and accursed, who either held, taught, or maintained the 
res'! ac- aforcsaid conclusions heretical and eiToneous ; and that, in solemn 
with "^ wise, by ringing the bells, lighting the candles, and putting out the 
book, bell, same again, and throwing them down to the ground, with other cir- 
candie. cumstauces thereunto belonging. Upon the morrow after, being AU- 
Souls-day, he sent for all the curates and others, lay-men, of the town 
of Leicester, to inquire more diligently of the verity of such matter as 
they knew and were able to say, against any persons whatsoever, con- 
cerning the aforesaid articles, as also against the parties before named 
and specified upon their oaths ; denouncing every one of them seve- 
rally by their names to be excommunicated and accursed, and causing 
them also, in divers parish churches in Leicester, to be excommunicated. 
The And, further, the said archbishop interdicted the whole town of Lei- 
Leicester cester, and all the churches in the same, so long as any of the afore- 
interdict- g^^-^j excommuuicated persons should remain or be Avithin the same, 
and till all the lollards of the town should retm'n and amend from such 
heresies and errors, obtaining at the said archbishop''s hands the bene- 
fit of absolution. 
Matilda, At length it was declared and showed to the said archbishop, that 
rrsf.dted ^^''^^ ^^^ ^ certain anchoress, whose name was Matilda, enclosed 
toappear. witliiu the churchvard of St. Peter's Church in the said town of 



Leicester, infected, as they said, with the pestiferous contagion of the mchard 

aforesaid heretics and loliards : whereupon, after the said archbishop '. — 

liad examined the aforesaid Matilda, touching the aforesaid conclusions, A. D. 
heresies, and errors, and found her not to answer plainly and directly _1_^ 
to the same, but sophistically and subtilely; he gave and assigned unto 
her a day, peremptory, personally to appear before him in the monas- 
tery of St. James, at Northampton, more fully to answer to the said 
articles, heresies, and en-ors, which was the sixth day of the said month 
of November ; commanding the abbot of the monastery of Pratis 
aforesaid, that the door of the recluse, in which the said Matilda was, 
should be opened, and that till his return he should cause her to be 
put in safe custody. That done, he sent forth his mandate against 
the loliards, under this form. 

The King's Process sent by the Archbishop Courtney to arrest the 
eight aforenamed Lollards. 

William, by the permission of God, &c. To his well-beloved sons, the mayor 
and bailiffs of the town of Leicester diocese, greeting. We have lately received 
the king's letters, gi'aciously granted us for the defence of the catholic faith, in 
these words following, ' Richard, by the grace of God king of England and of 
France,' &c. We, on the behalf of our holy mother the church, by the king's 
authority aforesaid, do require you, that you cause the same Richard, William, 
Roger, and the rest, to be arrested, and sent unto us; that they with their 
pernicious doctrine do not infect the people of God, &c. 
Given under our seal, &c. 

By another instrument also in the same register mention is made Maigaret 
of one Margaret Caily, a nun, who, forsaking her order, was by the nu/' ^ 
said archbishop constrained, against her will, again to enter the same, 
as by this instrument hereunder ensuing may appear. 

Copy of a Letter of the same Archbishop respecting the re-admission 
of Margaret Caily, a Nun, into the Monastery of St. Radegond. 

William, by the grace of God, &c. To our reverend brother in God, John, 
by the grace of God bishop of Ely, greeting, &c. In the visitation of our diocese 
of Lincoln, according to our office, amongst other enormities worthy reforma- 
tion, we found one sheep out of oiu- fold strayed, and amongst the briers entangled ; 
to wit, Margaret Caily, nun professed, in the monastery of St. Radegond within 
your diocese ; who, casting off the habit of her religion, was found in secular 
attire, many years being an apostata, and leading a dissolute life. And lest 
her blood should be required at our hands, we have caused her to be taken and 
brought unto you, being her pastor : and straitly enjoining you, by these pre- 
sents we do command, that you admit the same Margaret again into her afore- 
said monastery, although returned against her will, or else into some other place, 
where, for her soul's health, you shall think most convenient; and that from 
henceforth she be safely kept, as in the strait examination of the same you will 
yield an account. 

Given under our seal, &c. 

By sundry other instnunents also in the same register recorded I Matilda 
find, that the aforesaid Matilda, the anchoress, upon the strait exami- eth!'"'^'* 
nation and handling of the aforesaid archbishop, before whom peremp- 
torily she was enjoined to appear, and till that day of appearance taken 
out of the recluse, and committed to safe custody, as vou heard. 









and Alice, 

his wife, 


retracted and recanted her aforesaid articles and opinions : for which 
she, being enjoined forty days'" penance, vas again admitted into her 
aforesaid recluse in Leicester.' 

Also, by another letter of the aforesaid archbishop to the dean of 
the cathedral church of our Lady of Leicester being registered, I find 
that of the number of those eight persons before recited, whom the 
archbishop himself, at high mass, did in his pontificalibus so solemnly 
curse with book, bell, and candle ; after certain process being sent out 
against them, or else in the mean time they being apprehended and 
taken, two of them recanted their opinions ; to wit, William Smith, 
and Roger Dexter. But, in the mean time, Alice, the wife of the 
said Roger Dexter, taking hold of the aforesaid articles with her hus- 
band also, together with the said William Smith, abjured the same.^ 
NotAvithstanding, whether they presented themselves willingly, or else 
were brought against their wills, as most like it was, hard penance 
was enjoined them before they were absolved. These be the words 
of the instrument,^ 

The man 
ner of 

kisses of 
the cross. 

The col- 
lect of 
rine, Pa- 
and Ave 

A Letter of Archbishop Courtney, enjoining Penance of certain good 
Persons of Leicester. 

Seeing our holy mother the church denieth not her lap to any penitent 
child returning to the unity of her, but rather profFereth to them the same ; we 
therefore do receive again the said WilHam, Roger, and Alice, to grace : and 
further have caused them to abjure all and singular the aforesaid articles and 
opinions, before they received of us the benefit of absolution, and were loosed 
from the sentence of excommunication, wherein they were snarled, enjoining 
unto them penance, according to the quantity of the crime, in form as fol- 
loweth : that is to say, that the Sunday next after their returning to their 
proper goods, they, the said William, Roger, and Alice, holdfng every of them 
an image of the crucifix in their hands, and in their left hands every one of them a 
taper of wax, weighing half a pound weight, in their shirts, having no other 
apparel upon them, do go before the cross three times during the procession of the 
cathedral church of our Lady of Leicester ; that is to say, in the beginning of 
the procession, in the middle of the procession, and in the latter end of the pro- 
cession; to the honour of Him that was crucified, in memorial of his passion, 
and to the honour of the Virgin his mother ; who also, devoutly bowing their 
knees and kneeling, shall kiss the same crucifix, so held in their hands : and so, 
with the same procession, they, entering again into the church, shall stand, during 
all the time of the holy mass, before the image of the cross, with their tapers and 
crosses in their hands ; and when the mass is ended, the said William, Roger, 
and Alice, shall offer to him that celebrated that day the mass. 

Then, upon the Saturday next ensuing, the said William, Roger, and Alice, 
shall, in the full and public market, within the town of Leicester, stand in like 
manner in their shirts, without any more clothes upon their bodies, holding the 
aforesaid crosses in their right hands; which crosses three times they shall, 
during the market, devoutly kiss, reverently kneeling upon their knees ; that is, 
in the beginning of the market, in the middle of the market, and in the end of 
the market. And the said William, for that he somewhat understandeth the 
Latin tongue, shall say this anthem with the collect, ' Sancta Katharina,' and 
the aforesaid Roger and Alice, being imlearned, shall say devoutly a ' Pater 
Noster,' and an ' Ave Maria.' And thirdly, the Sunday next immediately after 
the same, the said William, Roger, and Alice, in their parish church of the said 
town of Leicester, shall stand and do, as, upon the Sunday before, they stood 

(1) The bishop's letter to the magistrates of the town thus beginneth : ' Willielmus permissioue 
divina,' &c. ' dilectis filiis,' Sic. 

(2) These be the words of the instrument : ' Subsequenter vero praefati Willielmus, Rogerus. et 
Alicia reatus suos respicientes. se nostro conspectu praesentarunt,' &c. 

(3) ' Sancta mater ecclesia,' &c. 


and did, in the cathedral church of our Lady aforesaid in all things : wliich Richard 
done, the aforesaid William, Roger, and Alice, after mass, shall oifer to the ^^■ 
priest or chaplain that celehrated the same, with all humility and reverence, the . ,v 
wax tapers, which they shall carry in their hands. And because of the cold , „'„ .' 

weather that now is, lest the aforesaid penitents might peradventure take some !__L 

bodily hurt, standing so long naked (being mindful to moderate partly the said 
our rigour), we give leave, that after their entrance into the churches abovesaid, 
while they shall be hearing the aforesaid masses, they may put on necessary cold 
gai-ments to keep them from cold, so that their heads and feet notwithstanding weather 
be bare and inicovered. We, therefore, will and command you, together and ^I'^^f^lf,^ 
apart, that 3'ou denounce the said William, Roger, and Alice, to be absolved and cd ! 
restored again to the unity of our holy mother the cluirch, and that you call 
them forth to do their penance in manner and form aforesaid. 

Given at Dorchester, the seventeenth day of November, in the year of 
our Lord God 13S9, and the ninth year of our translation. 

Unto the narration of these above-named; we will adjoin the story of Peter 
one Peter Pateshul, an Austin friar, who, obtaining by the pope"'s agahist" 
privilege, through the means of Walter Dis, confessor to the duke ^^^ '^"^"• 
of Lancaster, liberty to change his coat and religion, and hearing the 
doctrine of John WicklifF and others of the same sort, began at 
length to preach openly, and to detect the vices of his order, in such 
sort as all men wondered to hear the horrible reciting thereof. This 
being brought to the ears of his order, they, to the number of twelve, 
coming out of their houses to the place where he was preaching, 
thought to have withstood him, by force : among whom one espe- 
cially, for the zeal of his religion, stood up openly in his preaching, 
and contraried that which he said ; Avho then was preaching in the 
church of St. Christopher in London. This when the faithful Lon- London- 
doners did see, taking grief hereat, they were moved with great ire against 
against the said friar, thrusting him with his other bretliren out of the '^^ ^"ari 
church, whom they not only had beaten and sore wounded, but also 
followed them home to their house, minding to have destroyed their 
mansion with fire also ; and so would have done, had not one of the 
sheriffs of London, with two of the friars of the said house, well known 
and reported amongst the Londoners, with gentle words mitigated 
their rage and violence. After this, Peter Pateshul thus disturbed, 
as is aforesaid, was desired by the Londoners, forasmuch as he could 
not well preach amongst them, to put in writing that which he had 
said before, and other things more that he knew of the friars ; who 
then, at their request, writing the same, accused the friars of murder The friars 
committed against divers of their brethren. And to make the mat- horrfbit"^ 
ter more apparent and credible, he declared the names of them that "imes. 
were murdered, with the names also of their tormentors ; and named, 
moreover, time and place, where and when they were murdered, and 
where they were buried. He affirmed, further, that they were Sodomites, 
and traitors both to the king and the realm ; with many other crimes, 
which mine author for tediousness leaveth off to recite. And for 
the more confutation of the said friars, the Londoners caused the said 
bill to be openly set up at St. PauFs church-door in London, which 
was there read and copied out by very many. This was done in the 
year of our Lord 1387, and in the tenth year of king Richard IL* 

Thus it may appear, by this and other things above recited, how the 

(I) Ex Chrou. Monachi Albanensis : cujus est exordium ' Anno gratiae niillesimo,' Src 


Rtchard gospel of Clirist, preached by John WicklifF and others, began to 
' spread and fructify abroad in London, and in other places of the 
A- D- realm ; and more it would have done no doubt, had not William 
J^94^ Courtney, the archbishop, and other prelates, with the king, set them 
so forcibly, with might and main, to gainstand the course thereof : 
Few or albeit as is said before, I find none who yet were put to death on that 
burned in accouut during the reign of this king Richard 11. ; whereby it is to 
ukLrd's ^6 thought of this king, that although he cannot utterly be excused 
time. for molesting the godly and innocent preachers of that time (as by 
his briefs and letters aforementioned may appear), yet neither was 
he so cruel against them, as others that came after him ; and that 
which he did, seemed to proceed by the instigation of the pope and 
other bishops, rather than either by the consent of his parliament, or 
advice of his council about him, or by his own nature. For, as tlie 
decrees of the parliament in all his time were constant in stopping out 
the pope's provisions, and in bridling his authority, as we shall see, 
Christ willing, anon : so the nature of the king was not altogether so 
fiercely set, if that he, following the guiding thereof, had not stood so 
Kings much in fear of the bishop of Rome and his prelates, by whose im- 
t/mes portunate letters and calling on, he was continually urged to do con- 
brought trary to that which both right required, and will, perhaps, in him 
much desired. But howsoever the doings of this king are to be excused, 
tht'pope. or not, undoubted it is, that queen Anne, his wife, most rightly de- 
serveth singular commendation ; who at the same time, living with 
the king, had the gospels of Christ in English, with four doctors upon 
How the the same. This Anne was a Bohemian born, and sister to Wencis- 
of w?ck- ^^^^s king of Bohemia before : who was married to king Richard 
i'^bT^ about the fifth, some say the sixth, year of his reign, and continued 
mia. with him the space of eleven years : by the occasion whereof it may 
seem not improbable, that the Bohemians coming in with her, or re- 
sorting into this realm after her, perused and received here the books 
of John Wickliff, which afterwards they conveyed into Bohemia, 
whereof partly mention is made before. 
The The said virtuous queen Anne, after she had lived with king 

queen" Richard about eleven years, in the seventeenth year of his reign 
-*^""s- changed this mortal life, and was buried at Westminster ;' at whose 
funeral Thomas Arundel, then archbishop of York, and lord chancel- 
lor, made the sermon ; in Avhich sermon, as remaineth in the library 
of Worcester recorded, he, treating of the commendation of her, said 
these words, That it was more joy of her than of any woman that 
ever he knew ; for, notwithstanding that she was an alien born, she 
Queen had iu Euglisli all the four gospels, with the doctors upon them ; 

Anne had . P . 

the four affirming, moreover, and testifying, that she had sent the same unto 
witrih'e ^i'^^ to examine ; and he said, they were good and true. And, fur- 
doctors, ther, with many words of praise he did greatly commend her, in that 
lish. she, being so great a lady, and also an alien, would study so lowly 
such virtuous books ; and he blamed in that sermon sharply the negli- 
gence of the prelates and other men : insomuch that some said, he 
would on the morrow leave the office of chancellor, and forsake the 
world, and give, him to fulfil his pastoral office, for what he had seen 

(U Ex fragmento libri cujusdam Wisornensis Bibliothccn;. Ex accomodato D. Mat. Arch. 



and read in those books ; and then it had been the best sermon that J^'^-J'^rd 
ever they heard. ^ 

In this sermon of Thomas Arundel, tliree points are to be con- A^j^- 

sidered : first, the laudable use of those old times received, to have - 

the Scripture and doctors in our vulgar English tongue. Secondly, 
the virtuous exercise and also example of this godly lady, who had 
these books not for a show hanging at her girdle ; but also seemed, 
by this sermon, to be a studious occupier of the same. The third 
thing to be noted is, what fruit the said Thomas, archbishop, de- 
clared also himself to receive at the hearing and reading of the same 
books of hers in the English tongue. Notwithstanding, the same Arch- 
Thomas Arundel, after this sermon and promise made, became the Amndei 
most cruel enemy that might be against English books and the authors ^^^^^^l^!" 
thereof; as folloAveth after in his story to be seen. For shortly mse.^^ 
after the death of queen Anne, the same year, the king being the 
then in Ireland, this Thomas Arundel, archbishop of York, and ^1^12°^ 
Kobert Braybrocke, bishop of London (whether sent by the arch- f°^^°^l'^- 
bishop of Canterbury and the clergy, or whether going of their own the king, 
accord), crossed the seas to Ireland, to desire the king in all speedy pialnTf 
wise to return and help the faith and church of Christ, against such tj^^^^^^^ 
as, holding WicklifF's teaching, went about, as they said, to subvert of God's 
all their proceedings, and to destroy the canonical sanctions of their 
holy mother church. At his complaint the king hearing the one 
part speak, and not advising the other, was in such sort incensed, that 
incontinently lea\dng all his affairs incomplete, he sped his return 
towards England ;- "having kept his Christmas at Dublin. In the 
mean time, in the beginning of the year following, which was a. d. 
1395, a parliament was called at Westminster by the commandment a.d.isqs. 
of the king. In that parliament certain articles or conclusions were 
put up by them on the gospel's side, to the number of twelve ; which 
conclusions, moreover, were fastened up upon the church-door of St. 
PauFs in London, and also at Westminster : the copy of which con- 
clusions, with the words and contents thereof, hereunder ensue. 

The Book of Conclusions or Reformations, exhibited to the Par- 
liament holden at London, and set up at PauFs^ door, and 
other places, in the eighteenth year of the reign of King Richard 
IT., and in the year of our Lord 1395. 

The first conclusion : — When the church of England began first to dote in 
temporalties after her stepmother the great church of Rome, and the churches 
were authorised by appropriations ; faith, hope, and charity began in divers places 
to vanish and fly away from our church, forasmuch as pride, with her most 
lamentable and dolorous genealogy of mortal and deadly sins, did challenge 
that place by title of heritage. And this conclusion is general, and approved 
by experience, custom, and manner, as ye shall after hear. 

The second conclusion : — That our usual priesthood, which took its original Papisti- 
at Rome, and is feigned to be a power higher than angels, is not that priest- ^"o^"*^^'" 
hood which Christ ordained to his disciples. This conclusion is thus proved, 
forasmuch as the Romish priesthood is done with signs, and pontifical rites, 
and ceremonies, and benedictions, of no force and effect, neither having any 
ground in Scripture, forasmuch as the bishops ordinal, and the New Testament, 
do nothing at all agree ; neither do we see that the Holy Ghost doth give any 

(I) Hac ex libro Wit'onieiisis. (2) Ex Hist. D. Albani. 


Richard good gift through any such signs or ceremonies, because He, together with all 
^^- noble and good gifts, cannot consist and be in any person with deadly sin. Tlie 
~~r~Tr~ corollary or effect of this conclusion is, that it is a lamentable and dolorous 
y^^^r mockery unto wise men, to see the bishops mock and play with the Holy Ghost 
in the giving of their orders ; because they give crowns for their characters 
and marks, instead of white hearts ; and this character is the mark of Anti- 
christ, brought into the holy church to cloak and colour their idleness. 
Single The third conclusion : — That the law of chastity enjoined unto priesthood, 

life of which was first ordained to the prejudice of women, induceth infamy into the 
prieb s. j.]jm.(,]^ J jjyj- ^g (Jq excuse us by the Bible, because the suspect decree doth say, 
that we should not name it. Both reason and experience prove this conclusion. 
Reason thus, forasmuch as the delicate feeding and fare of the clergy will have 
either a natiu'al purgation, or something worse.' Experience thus, forasmuch 
as the secret trial and proof of such men is, that they do delight in women ; 
and, whensoever thou dost prove or see such a man, mark him well, for he is 
He pro- one of that number. The corollary of this conclusion is, that these private re- 
phesieth ligions, with the beginners thereof, ought most chiefly to be disannulled, as the 
monkery original of that sin and offence : but God of his might doth, for privy sins, send 

open vengeance. 
The The fourth conclusion, that most harmeth the innocent people, is this : — 

feigned That the feigned miracle of the sacrament of bread induceth all men, except it 
of tran- be a very few, unto idolatry ; forasmuch as they think that the body which shall 
substan- never be out of heaven, is, by virtue of the priests' words, essentially included 
tiation. jj^ jj^g ]j(.j^|g )jyead, which they do show unto the people. But would to God 
they would believe that which the evangelical doctor 2 teacheth us in his tria- 
logue, ' Quod panis altaris est accidentaliter corpus Christi :' that is. That the 
bread of the altar is the body of Christ accidentally : forasmuch as we suppose 
that by that means every faithfid man and woman in the law of God may make 
the sacrament of that bread without any such miracle. The corollary of this 
conclusion is, That albeit the body of Christ be endowed with the eternal joy, 
Feast of the service of Corpus Christi, made by friar Thomas, is not true, but painted 
Corpus full of false miracles ; neither is it any marvel, forasmuch as friar Thomas, at 
invented t^^* time taking part with the pope, would have made a miracle of a hen's egg ; 
by The- and we know it very well, that every lie openly preached and taught, doth turn 
Aquinas ^^ ^^^^ rebuke and opprobrium of Him, who is always true without any lack. 
Exor- 'T'^e fifth conclusion is this : — That the exorcisms and hallowings, consecrations 

cismsand and blessings, over the wine, bread, wax, water, oil, salt, incense, the altar- 
blessings stone, and about the church-walls, over the vestment, chalice, mitre, cross, and 
pries s. piigj.jj-,-j_g(-jjypg^ f^j.g the very practices of necromancy, rather than of sacred 
divinity. This conclusion is thus proved : because that by such exorcisms 
the creatures are honoured to be of more force and power than by their own 
proper nature ; for we do not see any alteration or change in any creature so 
exorcised, except it be by false faith, which is the principal point of devilish 
art. The corollary of this is, That if the book of exorcisation or conjuring of 
holy water, which is sprinkled in the church, were altogether faithful and true ; 
we think certaiidy that holy water used in the church, were the best medicine 
for all kinds of sickness and sores: ' Cujus contrarium experimur :' that is, 
The contrary whereof daily experience doth teach us.' 
Differ- The sixth conlusion, which maintaineth much pride, is, that a king and bishop 

rence both in one person, a prelate and justice in temporal causes, a curate and officer 
between jj^ wordly office, doth make every kingdom out of good order. This conclusion 
sia'st^car is manifest, because the temporalty and the spiritualty are two parts of the holy 
and . universal church ; and, therefore, he who addicteth himself to the one part, let 
es°tate! ^ini not intermeddle with the other, ' Quia nemo potest duobus Dominis ser- 
vire;' wherefore to be called 'amphroditse,' which are men of both kinds, or 
' ambodoxtri,' which is such as can play with both hands, were good names for 
such men of double estates. The corollary of this conclusion is, that thereupon 
we, the procurators of God, in this case do sue unto the parliament, that it may be 
enacted, that all such as be of the clergy (as well of the highest degree as of 
the lowest), should be fully excused, and occupy themselves with their own 
cure and charge, aiul not with others. 

(1) He doth very excellently paint out th; lecherous clergy. 

(2) He meaneth here Wicklifl'. 


The seventh eonchision that we mightily affirm is, that spiritual prayers Richard 
made in the church for tlie souls of the dead, ])referring any one man by name ^^- 
more than another, is a false foundation of alms, whereupon all the liouses of » j) 
alms in England are falsely founded. This conclusion is proved by two reasons: 1305' 

the one is, that a meritorious prayer (of any force or effect) ought to be a work 1- 

proceeding from mere charity, and perfect charity exceptctli no j)erson, because The 
thoushalt love thy neighbour as thyself; wherel)y it appeareth that the benefit j"^, ^f 
of any temporal gitY, bestowed and given unto priests and houses of alms, is masses 
the principal cause of any special prayers, which is not far different from 'J"' '.'"^ 
simony. The otlier reason is, that every special prayer, made for men con- 
demned to eternal punishment, is verj' displeasant before (Jod ; and albeit it be 
doubttld, yet it is very likely unto the faithful christian people, that the found- 
ers of every such house of alms, for their wicked endowing of the same, are 
for the most part, passed by the broad way. The corollary is, that every prayer 
of force and effect, proceeding of perfect charity, woidd comprehend generally 
all such whom God would have saved, and to live. The merchandise of special A luin- 

F avers now used for the dead, maketh mendicant possessioners and other hire- J^"^^'' 
-. - . , , . ' S , , houses 

Img priests ; who, otherwise, were strong enough to work and to serve the of alms 
whole realm ; and maintainetli the same in idleness, to the great charge of the sufficient 
realm, because it was proved in a certain book wliicli the king hath, that a hun- England, 
dred houses of alms are sufficient for the whole realm ; and thereby, peradven- 
ture, greater increase and profit might come unto the temporalty. 

The eighth conclusion, needful to tell to the people beguiled is, that pilgrim- Pili?ri- 
ages, prayers, and oblations made unto blind crosses or roods, or to deaf and'ob- 
images made either of wood or stone, are very near of kin unto idolatry, lations. 
and far different from alms : and, albeit these which are forbidden and im- 
agined are the book of error unto the common people, notwithstanding the The 
usual and common image of the Trinity is most especially abominable. This image of 
conclusion God himself doth openly manifest, commanding alms to be given to Trinity 
the poor and needy man, for he is the image of God, in a more perfect simili- an abo- 
tude and likeness, than any block or stone. For God did not say. Let us make a J"'."^**'^ 
block or stone unto our likeness and image, but. Let us make man ; forasmuch ^ °"j. 
as the supreme and highest honour, which the clergy call 'Latria,' pertaineth man a 
only to the Godhead, and the inferior honour, which the clergy call 'Dulia,' more per- 
pertaineth unto men and angels, and to none other inferior creature. The image of 
corollary is, that the service of the cross, celebrated twice every year in our God. 
church, is full of idolatry : for if rood, tree, nails, and spear, ought so profoundly 
to be honoured and worshipped, then were Judas' lips, if any man could get Judah's 
them, a marvellous goodly relic. But thou, pilgrim, we pray thee tell us, when /^^' 
thou dost offer to the bones of the saints and holy men which are Laid up in any deaUiof 
place, whether dost thou relieve thereby the holy man who is already in joy, or Becket 
that alms-house which is so well endowed, where they are canonized, the Lord "°' '° ^ 
knoweth how ? and to speak more plainly, every faithful Christian may well for mar- 
judge and suppose that the strokes of that same man, whom they call St. tyrdoni. 
Thomas, were no cause of martyrdom, nor yet be. 

Tlie ninth conclusion, that keepeth the people low is, that auricular confes- Auricular 

sion, which is said to be so necessary for salvation, and the feigned power of gj'o'jf^t^i^e 

absolution, exalt and set up the pride of priests, and give them opportunity of minister 

other secret talks, which we will not at this time talk of; forasmuch as both oX\n%i. 

lords and ladies do witness, that for fear of their confessors they dare not speak 

the truth : and in time of confession is good opportunity ministered of wooing, 

or to play the bawd, or to make other secret conventions to deadly sin. They 

affirm and say, tliat they are commissaries sent of God to judge and discern of 

all manner of sin, to pardon and cleanse whatsoever please them. They say Impu- 

also, that they have the keys of heaven and hell, and that they can excommu- !l^"'^?'^'' 

Ill 1-1 11 1 • -11 11 • "ess or 

nicate, curse and bless, bind and loose, at tlieir own will and pleasure : inso- priests. 

much that for a small reward, or for twelve pence, they will sell the blessing of 

heaven by charter and clause of warranty, sealed by their common seal. This The pope, 

conclusion is so commonly in use, that it needeth not any probation. The treasurer 

corollary hereof is, that the pope of Rome who feigned himself to be the pro- church, 

found treasurer of the whole church, having that same worthy jewel, which is instead of 

the treasure of the passion of Christ, in his own keeping and custody, together ^■^l^f^^l^ 

with the merits of all the saints in heaven, wlicreby he giveth feigned indul- up coais. 



Richard gences and pardons 'a poena et culpa,' is a treasurer almost banished out of 
^^- charity, whereby he may deliver all cajitives being in pvu'gatory at his pleasure, 
and make them not to come there. But here every faithful Christian may 
■^•^" easily perceive that there is much falsehood hid in our church. 
^^^^- The tenth, that manslaughter, either by war or by any pretended law of jus- 
How war tice, for any temporal cause or spiritual revelation, is expressly contrary unto 
is lawful, the New Testament, which is the law of grace, full of mercy. This con- 
hyex°° chision is evidently proved by the examples of the preaching of Christ here on 
perience earth, who chiefly teacheth every man to love his enemies, and to have com- 
passion upon them, and not to kill and murder them. The reason is this, that 
for the most part when men do fight, after the first stroke, charity is broken ; 
and whosoever dieth without charity, goeth the right way to hell. And besides 
that, we do well imderstand and know, that none of the clergy, by any lawful 
reason, can deliver any from the punishment of death for one deadly sin, and 
not for another : but the law of mercy, which is the New Testament, forhiddeth 
all manner of murder. For in the gospel it is spoken unto our forefathers, ' Thou 
shalt not kill.' The corollary is, it is a very robbing of the people, when lords 
purchase indulgences and pardons ' a poena et culpa,' imto such as do help 
theii- armies to kill and murder the christian people in foreign countries, for 
temporal gain ; as we do see certain soldiers who do run among the heathen 
people, to get themselves fame and renown by the murder and slaughter of 
men. Much more do they deserve evil thanks at the hands of the King of 
Peace, forasmuch as by humility and peace our faith is multiplied and increased ; 
for murderers and man-quellers Chiist doth hate and menaceth, ' He that 
striketh with the sword, shall perish with the sword." 
Nuns and The eleventh conclusion is, which is shame to tell, that the vow of chastity, 
who° vow "^^de in our church by women that are frail and imperfect in nature, is the 
single cause of bringing in many great and horrible offences and vices, incident to the 
'''^^- nature of man : for, albeit the murder of their children born before their time, 

, and before they are christened, and the destruction of their nature by medicine, 
are filthy and foul sins ; yet they, accompanying among themselves, do pass to 
such an unseemliness, that they ought to be punished by infernal torments. 
The corollary is, that widows, and such as take the mantle and the ring, deli- 
ciously fed, we would that they were married, because we cannot excuse them 
from private offence of sin. 

The twelfth, that the multitude of arts not necessary, used in this our church, 
causeth much sin and offence in waste, curiosity, and disguising in curious ap- 
parel : experience and reason partly do show the same, forasmuch as natin-e, 
with a few arts, is sufficient for man's use and necessity. 

This is the whole tenor of our ambassage, which Christ hath commanded us 
to prosecute at this time, most fit and convenient for many causes. And, albeit 
these matters be here briefly noted and touched, yet, notwithstanding, they are 
more at large declared in another book, with many other more in our own pro- 
per tongue, which we would, shoidd be common to all Christian people. Where- 
fore, we earnestly desire and beseech God, for his great goodness' sake, that 
he will wholly reform our church, now altogether out of frame, unto the per- 
fection of her first beginning and original.^ 

Certain Verses- were annexed unto the Conclusions, whicli are tlms 


t The English nation doth lament, of these vile men theu- sin, 

Which Paul doth plainly signify, by idols to begin. 
But Giersites, full ingrate, from sinful Simon sprung, 
This to defend, though priests in name, make bulwai'ks great and strong. 
Ye princes, therefore, M'hom to rule the people, God hath placed, 
With justice' sword, why see ye not, this evil great defaced ? 

(1) Ex Archivis Regiis. 

(2) " Plangunt Anglorum gentes crimen Sodomorum,! 

Paulus fert, liorum sunt idola causa malorum : 
Surgunt ingrati Gierzitse Simone nati, 
Nomine prselati, hoe defensare parati. 
Qui Reges est's, populis quicunque prseestis, 
Qualiter, his gestis, glaOios proliibere potefitis?" 


After these conclusions were thus proposed in the parliament, the Richard 
king not long after returned home from Dublin into England, towards " 
the latter end of the parliament. At his return he called certain of his A. D. 
nobles unto him, Richard Stury, Lewis Clifford, Thomas Latimer, ^^^^- 
John Mountacute, &c., whom he did sharply rebuke, and did tei-ribly ^^- stury, 
threaten, for that he heard them to be favourers of that side ; charging cuffora, 
them straightly never to hold, maintain, or favour any more those i'l^e^^joim 
opinions and conclusions : and namely of Richard Stury he took an Mounta- 
oath, that he should never, from that day, favour or defend any such good' fa- 
opinions ; which oath being taken, the king then answered, ' And I ^°"'''"''" 
swear,' saith he, ' again to thee, that if thou dost ever break thine oath, 
thou shalt die for it a shameful death,' ' &c. 

All this while William Courtney, archbishop of Canterbury, was pope ur- 
yet alive, who was a great stirrer in these matters; but yet pope Urban, ^^ad'^" 
the great master of the catholic sect, was dead and buried six years 
before, after whom succeeded in the schismatical see of Rome pope 
Boniface IX., who, nothing inferior to his predecessor in all kind of p„pc Bo- 
cruelties, left no diligence unattempted to set forward that which "^^"^^ 
Urban had begun, in suppressing them that were the setters-forth of 
the light of the gospel ; and who had written sundry times to king Letters of 
Richard, as well for the repealing of the acts of parliament against his ^^f^^ 

face to 

provisions, ' Quare impedit,' and ' praemunire facies ;' as also that he kips 
should assist the prelates of England in the cause of God, as he pre- 
tended, against such, whom he falsely suggested to be Lollards, and 
traitors to the church, to the king, and the realm, &c. Thus the 
courteous pope, those whom he could not reach with his sword, at 
least, with cruel slander of his malicious tongue, would he work his 
poison against; which letter he wrote to the king a. d. 1396, which a.d.issg. 
was th.e year before the death of William Courtney, archbishop of Death of 
Canterbury ; after whom succeeded in that see Thomas Arundel, bro- counney, 
ther to the earl of Arundel, being first bishop of Ely, afterwards arch- ^^'^hop of 
bishop of York, and lord chancellor of England, and at last made banter- 
archbishop of Canterbury about a. d. 1397. The year following, 
which was 1398, and the ninth year of the pope, I find, in certain a.d.isos. 
records of the bishop of Durham, a certain letter of king Richard IL, 
written to the said pope Boniface, which, because I judged it not un- 
worthy to be seen, I thought here to annex the same, proceeding in 
form as folio we th. 

A Letter of King Richard II. to Pope Boniface IX. 

To the most holy father in Christ, and lord, lord Boniface IX., by the grace 
of God high pope of the most holy Romish and universal church, his humble 
and devout son Richard, by the grace of God, king of England and France, lord 
of Ireland, greeting, and desiring to help the miseries of the afflicted church, 
and kissing of those his blessed feet : 

Who will give my head water, and mine eyes streaming tears, that I may 
bewail the decay, and manifold troubles of our mother, which have chanced to 
her by her own children in the distress of this present schism and division ? For 
the sheep have forgotten the proper voice of their shepherds, and hirelings have 
thrust in themselves to feed the Lord's flock, who are clothed with the apparel of 
the true shepherd, challenging the name of honour and dignity ; resembling so 
the true shepherd, that the poor sheep can scarce know whom they ought to 

(1) Ex Cbron. Monachi Albaneiisis. 


Richard follow, or what pastor, as a stranger, they ought to flee, and whom they should 

l^- shun as a hireling. Wherefore, we are afraid lest the holy standard of the Lord 

~T~pj he forsaken by his host, and so that city, being full of riches, become solitary 

, oqo' and desolate, and lest the land or people which was wont to say, flourishing in 

!_ her prosperities, ' I sat as a queen, and am not a widow,' be destitute of the 

presence of her husband, and, as it were, so bewitched, that she shall not be able 
to discern his face, and so wrapped in mazes, that she shall not know where to 
turn her, that she might more easily find him, and that she shall, with weeping, 
speak that saying of the spouse, ' I sought him whom my soul loveth ; I sought 
him and found him not.' For now we are compelled so to wander, that if any 
man say, Behold here is Christ, or there, we may not believe him so saying ; 
and so many shepherds have destroyed the Lord's vineyard, and made his amia- 
ble portion a waste wilderness. 

This multitude of shepherds is become very burdenous to the Lord's flock : 
for when two strive to be chief, the state of both their dignities stands in doubt, 
and, in so doing, they give occasion to all the faithful of Christ for a schism and 
division of the church. And although both parties go about to subdue unto 
their power the whole church militant, yet, contrary to both their purpose, by 
working this way, there beginneth to rise now a division in the body of the 
church, like as when the division of the quick innocent body was asked, when the 
two harlots did strive before Solomon ; like as the ten tribes of Israel followed 
Jeroboam the intruder, and were withdrawn from the kingdom, for Solomon's 
Desire to sin : even so, of old time, the desire of ruling hath drawn the great power of the 
rule in world from the unity of the church. Let yourselves remember, we beseech you, 
church, liow that all Greece did Ml from the obedience of the Romish church, in the 
Greece time of the faction of the primarch of Constantinople ; and how Mahomet, with 
renounc- lijg fellows, by occasion of the supremacy in ecclesiastical dignity, deceived a 
Romish gi'eat part of the Christians, and withdrew them from the empire and ruling of 
church. Christ ; and how, in these days, where the same supremacy hath withdrav/n 
itself from the obedience of it, insomuch that now, in very few realms, the candle 
that burns before the Lord remaineth, and that for David, his servant's sake. 
And, although now remain few countries professing the obedience of Christ's 
true vicar, yet, peradventure, if every man were left to his own liberty, he 
would doubt of the preferring of your dignity, or, what is worse, would utterly 
refuse it by such doubtful evidence alleged on both sides : and this is the subtle 
craft of the crooked serpent, that is to say, under the pretence of unity to pro- 
cure schisms, as the spider from a wholesome flower gathers poison, and Judas 
learned of peace to make war. 

Wherefore it is lively believed of wise men, that except this pestilent schism 
be withstood, by and by the keys of the church will be despised, and they shall 
bind the consciences but of a few : and when either none dare be bold to cor- 
rect this fault, or to reform things contrary to God's law, so, by this means, at 
The liing length, temporal lords will take away the liberties of the church, and peradventure, 
seemeth t]jg Romans will come and take away their place, people, and lands : they will 
prophesy, spoil their possessions, and bring the men of the chiu-ch into bondage, and they 
shall be contemned, reviled, and despised, because the obedience of the people, 
and devotions towards them will be almost taken away, when the greater part 
of the church, left to their own liberty, shall wax prouder than they be wont, 
leaving a wicked example to them that do see it. For when they see the 
prelates study more for covetousness than they were wont, to purse up money, 
to oppress the subjects, in their punishings to seek for gain, to confound laws, to 
stir up strife, to suppress truth, to vex poor subjects with wrong corrections, in 
meat and drink intemperate, in feastings past shame : what marvel is it if the 
people despise them as the foulest forsakers of God's law ? But all these things 
do follow if the church shoidd be left long in this doubtfulness of a schism, and 
then should that old saying be verified ; ' In those days there was no king in 
Israel, but every one did that, that seemed right and straight to himself.' 
Micaiah did see the people of the Lord scattered on the mountains, as they 
had been sheep without a shepherd : for when the shepherd is smitten, the 
sheep of the flock shall be scattered : the great stroke of the shepherd is the 
minishing of his jui-isdiction, by which the subjects are drawn from his obedi- 
ence. When Jason had the oflice of the highest priest, he changed the ordi- 
nance of God, and brought in the customs of the heathen ; the priests leaving 


the service of the holy altar, and applying themselves to wrestling, and other Richard 
exercises of the Grecians, and despising those things that belonged to the ])riests, ^'■ 
did labour with all their niiglit to learn such things of the Grecians; and by that » .^ 
means the place, people, and holy anointing of priests, which, in times past, , ^'qu' 

were had in great reverence by kings, were trodden under foot of all men, and — ^ '— 

robbed by the king's power, and were ])rofaned by thrusting in for money. 
Therefore let the highest vicar of Christ look unto this with a diligent eye, and 
let him be the follower of Him by whom he hath gotten authority above others. 

If you mark well, most holy father ! you shall tind that Christ rebuked Bislmps 
sharply two brethren, coveting the seat of honour : he taught them not to ])lay 'j*'":'" '*>' 
the lords over the people, but the more grace they were prevented with, to be to play 
so much more humble than others, and more lowly to serve their l)rethren ; to Hie lords, 
him that asked his coat, to give the cloak ; to him that smote him on tlie one 
cheek, to turn the other to him. For the sheep that are given to his keeping he 
must forsake all earthly things, and to shed his own blood, yea, and if need 
required, to die. These things, I say, be those that adorn the highest bishop. The right 
if they be in him ; not his purple, nht his wliite horse, not his imperial crown, "'■"^' 
because he, among all men, is most boimd to all the sheep of Clirist. For the a tme 
fear of God, therefore, and for tiie love of the flock which ye guide, consider bishop, 
these things diligently, and do them wisely, and suffer us no longer to waver 
betwixt two : although not for your own cause, to whom peradventtire the ful- 
ness of your own power is known, yet in jjitying our weakness, if thou be he, 
tell us openly, and show thyself to the world, that all we may follow one. Be 
not to us a bloody bishop, lest, by your occasion, man's blood be shed ; lest hell 
swallow such a number of souls, and lest the name of Christ be evil spoken of 
by infidels, through such a worthy personage. But, peradventure ye will say, a bald 
for our righteousness it is manifest enough, and we will not put it to other men's ""swer. 
disputations. If this bald answer should be admitted, the schism should con- 
tinue still ; seeing that neither part is willing to agree to the other, and that 
where the world is, as it were, equally divided betwixt them, neither part can 
be compelled to give place to the other without much bloodshed. The incar- 
nation of Christ and his resurrection were well enough known to himself and 
his disciples ; yet he asked of his Father to be made known to the world. 
He made also the gospel to be written, and the doctrine of the apostles, and 
sent his apostles into all the world, to do the ofiice of preaching, that the 
same thing might he known to all men. The afoi'esaid reason is the sub- 
tlety of Mahomet, who, knowing himself guilty of his sect, utterly forbad 
disputations. If ye have so full trust of your righteousness, put it to the exa- 
mination of worthy persons in a general council, to which it belongeth by right 
to define such doubts, or else commit it unto able persons, and give them full 
power to determine all things concerning that matter; or, at least, by forsaking 
the office on both parties, leave the church of God free, speedily to provide 
for a new shepherd. 

We find kings have forsaken their temporal kingdoms, only upon respect of Public 
devotion, and have taken tlie apparel of monks' profession. Tlierefore let respect to 
Christ's vicar, being a professor of most high holiness, be ashamed to continue red before 
in his seat of honour to the offence of all people, and the prejudice and hurt private. 
of the Romish church, and the devotion of it, and cutting away kingdoms 
from it. 

But if you say, It is not requisite that the cause of God's church should be 
called in controversy, and, therefore, we cannot so easily go from it, seeing our 
conscience gainsayeth it: to this we answer. If it be the cause of God and the Answer 
church, let the general council judge of it ; but if it be a personal cause, as '" ^. 
almost all the world probably thinkelh, if ye were the followers of Christ, ye ohleetion. 
would rather choose a temporal death, than suffer such a wavering, I say not, Hard 
to the hurt of so many, but to the endless destruction of souls, to the offence of roursil 
the whole world, and to an everlasting shame of the apostolical dignit}-. Did ^°^ ""^ 
not Clement, named, or, that I may more truly speak, ordained, of St. Peter to 
the apostolic dignity, and to be bishop, resign his right, that his deed might be 
taken by his successors for an example ? Also pope Siricius gave over his pope- 
dom to be a comfort of the eleven thousand virgins ;> therefore much more 

(1) The legend of the eleven thousand vir<;ins, is one of the with the close of the third, 
W the opening of the fourth, centur>'. The story is as follows :— Flavius '."Icmtns Maximus, the 

VOL, III. 1' 



Richard ouglit you, if need require, give over your popedom, that you might ' gather 
•'■f- together the children of God which be scattered abroad.' For, as it is thought a 
— glorious thing to defend the common right, even to bloodshed, so is it sometimes 
o o necessary for a man to wink at his own cause, and to forsake it for a greater 
^'^^°' profit, and by that means better to procure peace. Should not he be thought a 
Unity devil, and Christ's enemy by all men, who woidd agree to an election made of 
of the ]-|j,^-j ^-Qj. (-j^g apostolical dignity and popedom, if it should be to the destruction 
bJ prefer- of Christians, the division of the church, the offence and loss of all faithful 
red before people? If such mischiefs should be known to all the world by God's revela- 
ri^rftv '^°" *" come to pass, by such receiving of the popedom and apostolical dignity : 
then, by the like reason, why should he not be judged of all men an apostate 
and forsaker of his faith, who chooseth dignit}', or worldly honour, rather than 
the unity of the church ? Christ died that he might gather together the children 
of God, who are scattered abroad : but such an enemjf of God and the church 
wisheth his subjects bodily to die in battle, and the more part of the world to 
perish in soul, rather than, forsaking to be pope, to live in a lower state, although 
The pope it were honourable. If the fear of God, the desire of the heavenly kingdom, 
\i\\[ not jjj^(i tijg earnest love of the unity of the church do move your heart, show indeed 
(iTgnity, that your works may bear record to the truth. Clement and Siricius, most holy 
for any popes, not only are not reproved, but rather are reverenced by all men, becavse 
public j.jjpy gave over their right for profitable causes, and for the same cause all the 
lity. church of holy men show forth their praise. Likewise your name should live 

Wicked for ever and ever, if ye would do the like for a necessary cause, that is to say, 
flatterers f^j. t]jg unity of God's church. Give no heed to the unmeasurable cryings of 
pope! *^*^ them that say, that the right choosing of popes is lost, except ye defend your 
part manfully : but be afraid, lest such stirrers up of mischief look for their own 
commodity or honour, that is to say, that under your wing they might be pro- 
moted to riches and honour. After this sort Ahithophel was joined with Absa- 
lom in persecuting his own father, and falsely usurping his kingdom. 

Furthermore, there should be no jeopardy to that election, because both 

parties stick stiffly to the old fashion of election, and either of them covet the 

pre-eminence of the Romish church, counselling all Christians to obey them. 

Better And although, through their giving over, the fashion of choosing the pope shoidd 

that the be changed for a time, it were to be borne, rather than to suffer any longer this 

th''^'o°ies' tlivision in God's church. For that fashion in choosing is not so necessarily 

election required to the state of a pope, but the successor of the apostle, as necessary 

should cause required, might come in at the door by another fashion of choosing, and 

thar'the that canonical enough. And this we are taught manifestly by examples of the 

church fathers ; for Peter the apostle appointed after him Clement, and that not by 

should falsely usurping of power, as we suppose ; and it was thought that that fashion 

division, of appointing popes was lawful unto the time of pope Hilary, who decreed that 

no pope should appoint his successor. 

Afterwards, the election of the pope went by the clergy and people of Rome, 
and the emperor's council agreeing thereto, as it appeareth in the election of 
the blessed Gregory ; but pope Martin, with the consent of the holy synod, 
granted Charles the power to choose the pope: but, of late, Nicholas II. was 
the first whom Martinus makes mention of in his councils as chosen by the 
cardinals. But all the bishops of Lombardy, for the most part, withstood this 

captain of the armv of the emperor Gratian, had acquired such influence over the soldier)', that 
they proclaimed hiin emperor in the lifetime of Gratian, his master. Arriving in Gaul, and benig 
■well received by the forces of Gratian, which happened to be quartered there, Maximus, with 
their aid, made a descent upon some of the most fertile districts of that country, and visited the 
inhabitants either with death, or banishment. Their land he divided among the bravest of his 
British followers ; and, the more speedily to people the newly-formed colony, he despatched mes- 
sengers to Britain, to procure wives for the settlers. According to the story, eleven thousand 
virgins, with one named Ursula at their head, embarked from Britain ; but, being driven by a storm 
upon the coast of Germany, where an army of Gratian, in pursuit of Maximus, was unfortunately 
encamped, these fair adventurers fell into the hands of the merciless soldiery. At Ursula's solici- 
tation, they immediately determined rather to die, than submit to the insults and shame that 
thus awaited them ; in consequence of which, it is affirmed that they were all put to death. How- 
ever, among the students of the divinity schools at Geneva it is maintained, that the above story 
was invented upon the discovery of an ancient inscription, beginning, ' undecimil. virg.,' and that 
instead of recording the death of eleven thousand virgins, it was intended to commemorate the 
death of one only, whose name was Undecimilla. The Editor gives this solution as he- received 
it, without attempting, in this instance, to decide between Geneva and Rome. Pope Syricius was 
a zealous maintainer of the celibacy of the clergy, but that he gave over his papacy for the sake of 
the above eleven thousand virgins, does not so readily appear ; for, in the same See which he held 
for fourteen years, he died, a.d. .198 ; the year in which the famous John Chrysostome, presbyter 
of the church of Antioch, was preferred to the See of Constantinoijle.— Ed. 


election, and chose Cadulus to be pope, saying, that the pope ought not to be Richard 
chosen but of the precinct of Italy. Wherefore we think it not a safe way so _JJ___ 
earnestly to stick to the traditions of men, in the fashion of choosing the pope, ^_ j)_ 
and so oft to change, lest we be thought to break God's traditions concerning 1393. 

the unity of the church : yea, rather, it were better yet to ordain a new fashion 

of his election, and meeter for him than as it hath been before. But all things 
concerning the same election might be kept safe, if God's honour were looked Good 
for before your own, and the peace of tlie church were uprightly sought ; for [^g""^'^' 
such a dishonouring should be most honour unto you, and that giving place 
should be the getting of a greater dignity, and. the willing deposing of your 
honour should obtain you the entry of everlasting honour, and should procure 
the love of the whole world towards you, and you should deserve to be exalted 
continually, as David was, in humbling himself. 

O how monstrous a sight, and how foul a monster, is a man's body disfigm'ed 
with two heads ! So, if it were possible, the spouse of Christ should be 
made as monstrous, if she were ruled with two such heads ; but that is not 
possible : she is ever altogether fair, in whom no spot is found ; therefore 
we must cast away that rotten member, and thruster-in of his second head. 
We cannot sutFer any longer so great a wickedness in God's house, that we 
should suffer God's coat that wants a seam, by any means to be torn by Christ's 
the hands of two, that violently draw it asunder; for if these two should seamless 
be suftered to reign together, they would so, betwixt them, tear in pieces ^°^' ^'°" 
that little coat of the Lord, that scarce one piece would hang to another. 
They pass the wickedness of the soldiers, that cursed Christ ; for they, willing popes, 
to have the coat whole, said, ' Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, compared 
whose it shall be :' but these two popes, suffering their right and title to be soijiej-g 
tried by no lot or way, although not in words yet in deeds, they pronounce this that 
sentence, ' It shall neither be thine nor mine, but let it be divided;' for they ^!^"'.'^^ 
choose rather, as it appcareth, to be lords, though it be but in a little part, and 
that to the confusion of the imity of the church, than, in leaving that lording, 
to seek for the peace of the church. We do not affirm this, but we show almost 
the whole judgment of the world of them ; being moved so to think by likely 
conjectures. We looked for amendment of this intolerable confusion, by the 
space that these two inventors of this mischief lived. But we looked for peace, 
and behold trouble ; for, neither in their lives nor in their deaths, they procured 
any comfort, but rather, dying as it were in a doubt betwixt two ways, left to 
their successors matter of contention continual. But now, for the space of seven 
years of their successors, that which we desired and looked for before (that is, 
that they shoiUd bear good gi-apes, and they bring forth wild grapes), in this 
matter we fall into a deep despair. But, inasmuch as we hear the comfort of the 
Lord, who promised that miserably he would destroy those wicked men, and let 
his vineyard to other husbandmen who will bring him fruit at their times ap- 
pointed, and hath promised faithfully that he will help his spouse in her need 
to the end of the world : we, leaning on the sure hope of this promise, and in 
hope contrary to hope believing, by God's grace will put our helping hands to 
the easing of this misery, when a convenient time shall serve, as much as our A godly 
kingly power is able ; and although our wit doth not perceive how these things P"."P''^^' 
before rehearsed may be amended, yet we, being encouraged to this by the hope teen put 
of God's promise, will do our endeavour ; like as Abraham believed, his son ii> cxocu- 
being slain by sacrifice, that the multitude of his seed should increase to the *'°"' 
number of the stars, according to God's promise. 

Now, therefore, the time draws near to make an end of this schism, lest a 
third election of a schismatic against the apostles' successor make a custom of 
the doing, and so the pope of Avignon shall be double Romish pope, and he shall 
say with his partakers, as the patriarch of Constantinople said imto Christ's 
vicar when he forsook him : 'The Lord be with thee, for the Lord is with us;' 
which is much to be feared of all christian men, for that pharisee begins now to 
be called the pope of Avignon among the people. 

But peradventure it would be thought by some men, that it belongeth not to Secular 
secular princes to bridle outrages of the pope. To whom we answer, that natu- FV"^^'^' 
rally the members put themselves in jeopardy to save the head, and the parts tii? out- 
labour to save the whole. Christ so decked his spouse, that her sides should rages of 
cleave together, and should uphold themselves, and by course of time and occa- '" ^ '"''*' 

I' 2 


Richard sioii of things they should correct one another, and cleave together tuneably. 

•'^- Did not Moses put down Aaron, because he was unfaithful ? Solomon put down 

~7~Tr~ Abiathar, who came by lineal descent from Anathoth, and removed his priest- 

jq'qo' hood from his kindred to the stock of Eleazar in the person of Zadok, who had 

! L his beginning from Eli the priest? [1 Kings ii.] Otho the emperor deposed 

Popes pu: pope John XII., because lie was lecherous. Henry the emperor put down Gra- 
princes*^ tian, because he used simony in buying and selling spiritual livings ; and Otho 
-deposed pope Benedict I., because he thrust in liimself. Therefore, by like 
reason, why may not kings and princes bridle the Romish pope in default o? the 
church, if the quality of his faidt require it, or the necessity of the church, by this 
means, compel to help the church ojjpressed by tyranny? In old times schisms, 
which rose about making the pope, were determined by the power of secular 
princes ; as the schism betwixt Symmachus and Laurence was ended in a council 
before Theodoric, king of Italy. Henry the emperor, when two did strive to 
be pope, deposed them both, and received the third, being chosen at Rome, to 
be pope, that is to say, Clement II., who crowned him with the imperial crown ; 
and the Romans promised him that from thenceforth they would promote none 
to be pope without his consent. Alexander also overcame four popes, schis- 
matics, all whom Frederic the emperor corrected. 

Thus, look on the register of popes and their deeds, and ye shall find that 
schisms most commonly have been decided by the power of secular princes, the 
schismatics cast out, and sometimes new popes made ; and sometimes the old 
Lawful ones cast out of their dignities, and restored to their old dignities again. If it 
that were not lawful for secular princes to bridle the outrages of such a pope lawfully 

f'""S^^ made, and afterwards becoming a tyrant : in such a case he might oppress over- 
with- much the church, he might change Christendom into heathens, and make the 
stand the labour of Christ crucified to be in vain : or else truly God should not have pro- 
of'th'e"^ vided for his spouse on earth, by all means, as much as is possible, by service 
pope. of men to withstand dangers. Therefore we counsel you, with such a loving 
aiFection as becomes children, that ye consider in your heart well, lest, in work- 
ing by this means, ye prepare a way to Antichrist through your desire to bear 
rule, and so, by this means, as we fear the one of these two shall chance, either 
ye shall cause all the princes of the world to rise against you to bring in a true 
follower of Christ to have the state of the apostolical dignity, or what is worse, 
the whole world, despising the ruling of one shepherd, shall leave the Romish 
church desolate. But God keep this from the world, that the desire of honour 
The king of two men should bring such a desolation into the church of (Jod : for then, 
seemeth that departing away which the apostle prophesied, should come before the coming 
prophesy ^^ Antichrist were at hand, which should be the last disposition of the world, 
ofthede- peaceably to receive Antichrist with honour. Consider, therefore, the state of 
of thTlio- yo'^^' most excellent holiness, how ye received the power from God to the build- 
manpope. ing of the church, and not to the destruction of it ; that Christ hath given you 
wine and oil to heal the wounded, and hath appointed you his vicar in these 
things which pertain to gentleness, and hath given us those tilings which serve 
to rigour. For we bear not the sword without a cause to the punishment of 
evil doers, which power, ordained of God, we have received, ourselves being wit- 
ness ; beseeching you to receive our counsel efFectuallj'^, that in doing thus, the 
waters may return to the places from whence they came, and so the waters may 
begin to be made sweet with salt ; lest the ax swim on the water, and the wood 
The pope sink, and lest the fruitful olive degenerate into a wild olive, and the leprosy of 
and the Naaman, that nobleman, cleave continually to the house of Gehazi, and lest the 
sees new pope and the Pharisees crucify Christ again. Christ, the spouse of the church, 
crucifiers who was wont to bring the chief bishop into the holiest place, increase your 
° "*■ holiu£ss, or rather restore it. being lost. Written, &c.' 

Tliis epistle of king Richard 11. written to pope Boniface IX., in 
the time of tlie schism, about the year, as appeared, 1398, as it con- 
tained much good matter of wholesome counsel to be followed, so 
how little it wrought with the pope the sequel afterwards declared ; 
for the schism, notwithstanding, continued long after, in which neither 

fl) Ex fragmento libri cujusdam Dunelm. 


of the popes would n^ivc over his liolil, or yield any tiling to good BicUard 

counsel given him, for any respect of public wealth. Sucli a stroke '. — 

bearcth ambition in this apostolical sec, which we are wont so greatly to ^- ^■ 

magnify : but of this enough, which I leave and refer to the consider- ' 

ation of the Lord, seeing men will not look upon it. 

Drawing now towards the latter end of king Ricliard's reign, it 
remaineth that, as wc did before in the time of king Edward III., so 
here also, wc show forth a summary recapitulation of such parliamen- 
tary notes and proceedings, as then were practised by public parlia- 
ment in this king''s time, against the jurisdiction of tlie bishop of The _ 
Home, to the intent that such, if any such be, as think, or have thought usurped 
the receiving of the pope''s double authority to be such an ancient thing {''J','^j|j,'i" 
within this reahii, may diminish their o])inion ; as evidently may ap- v< . ..- 
pear by divers arguments heretofore touched, concerning the election KD^iand 
and investing of bishops by the king ; as where king Oswin com- f^t'e'^ 
manded Cedde to be ordained archbishop of York ; also where king y-'^"* 
Egfride caused Cuthbert to be brought to king Canute, and at his 
commandment he was instituted bishop of the same see.' And likewise 
IMatthew Paris testifieth, that king Henry III. gave the archbishopric 
of Canterbury to Radulph, then bishop of London, and invested him 
■with staff and ring: and the same king gave the bishopric of Win- 
chester to William GifFord ; and moreover, following the steps both 
of his father and brother before him, endowed him with the posses- 
sions pertaining to the said bishopric (the contrary statute of pope 
Urban, forbidding that clerks should receive any ecclesiastical dignity 
at the hands of princes, or of any lay person, to the contrary notwith- 
standing.) That innumerable examples of the like sort are to be 
seen in ancient histories of this our realm, as also out of the parlia- 
ment rolls in the time of king EdAvard III., hath sufficiently been 
noticed a little before : whereunto also may be added the notes of 
such parliaments as have been holden in the reign of this present 
king Richard II., the collection whereof in part here folloAveth. 

Notes of certain Parliaments, holden in the reign of King Richard II., 
making against the Pope. 

In the first year of king Richard II., in the parliament holden at Westminster, 
it was recjuested and granted, that the pope's collector he willed no longer to , 
gather the first iruits of benefices within this realm, being a very novelty, and 
tiiat no person do any longer pay thcni.^ 

Item, That no man do procure any benefice by provision from Rome, on 
pain to be out of the king's protectioi).' 

Item, That no Englishman do take to farm of any alien any ecclesiastical bene- 
fice or prebend, on the like pain. In this bill was rehearsed, that the French^ 
men had six thousand pounds yearly of such livings in England.* 

Item, That remedy migiit be had against the pope's reservations to dignities 
elective, the same being done against the treaty of the pope, madte with king* 
Edward III.* 

In the second year of the said king Richard II. it was by petition requested, 
that some order miglit be taken, touching aliens having the greatest part of the 
church dignities in their hands : whereunto the king answered, That by ad- 
vice of the lords he would provide therefore.^ 

(1) Ex lib. Guli. Malmesb. de gestis Pontif. Anglonan. Ex Mat. Paris, lib. de vita Hen. 

(2) Ex Archivis Parliament, an. 1. reg. Rich. IL tit. 66. 

(3) Tit. CI. (4) Ibid. 68. (5) Ibid. 77. (6) Ex anno 2. tit. 70, 


Richard Item, It Was enacted, that all the benefices of cardinals, and other rebels to 
^^- pope Urban tliat now is, shall be seized into the king's liands.' 

An act that pope Urban was true and lawful pope, and that the livings of all 

t\'oq cardinals, and other rebels to the said pope, should be seized into the king's 

hands, and the king be answei'ed of the profits thereof: and that whosoever 

within this realm shall procure or obtain any provision or other instrument from 

any other pope than the same Urban, shall be out of the king's protection.^ 

Moreover, in the third year of king Richard II., the prelates and clergy made 
their protestation, in this parliament, expressly against a certain new grant, to 
Here note wit, their extortions: That the same never should pass with their assent and 
strange g^od will, to the blemishing of the liberties of the church, if, by that word ex- 
proceed- tortion, they meant any thuig largely to proceed against ordinaries and others 
'"o- of the church ; but if they meant none otherwise to deal hereafter therein, than 

before that time had been done, then would they consent. Whereunto it was 
But mark replied for the king. That neither for the same their said protestation, or other 
tiie ^ words in that behalf, the king would stay to grant to his justices in that case, 
eveiit^ 'I'^d ill 'ill other cases, as was iLsed to be done in times past, and as he was 
bound to do by virtue of his oath taken at his coronation.^ 

Furthermore, in the fourth year of the said king Richard II., it was re- 
quested. That provision might be had against the pope's collectors, for levying 
of the first fruits of ecclesiastical dignities within the realm.* 

Item, That all priors, aliens, might be removed out of their houses, and 
licensed to depart, and never to revert; and that Englishmen may be placed in 
their livings, answering the king as they did.^ 

And in the ninth year of the aforesaid king, touching the matter of the 
staple, the speaker of the parliament pronounced,^ that he thought best the same 
were planted within the realm, considering that Calais, Bruges, and other towns 
beyond the seas grew very rich thereby, and good towns here very much de- 
cayed : and so much for the common profit. Touching the king, he affirmed 
that the subsidy and custom of wool yielded more to the king when the staple 
was kept in England, by one thousand marks yearly, than it did now, being 
holden beyond the seas. 

Item, That inquisition and redress might be had against such religious per- 
sons, as under the license to purchase 10/. yearly, do purchase 80/. or 100/.^ 

Item, That all clerks, advanced to any ecclesiastical dignity or living by the 
king, will grant to the king the first ftuits of their livings, none otherwise than 
they would have done to the pope, being advanced by him.* 

In the eleventh year of king Richard II., it was put up by the petitions of 
the commons, that such impositions as are gathered by the pope's bulls of ' Vo- 
lumus' and ' Imponimus' of the translations of B. B. and such like, might be 
employed on the king's wars against the schismatics of Scotland ; and that such 
as bring into the realm the like bulls and novelties may be reputed for traitors.^ 

In the thirteenth year of his reign followed another parliament, in which, al- 
though the archbishops of Canterbury and York, for them and the whole clergy 
of their provinces, made their solemn protestations in open parliament, that 
they in no wise meant, or would assent to any statute or law made in restraint 
of the pope's authority, but utterly Avithstood the same; willing this pi-otestation 
of theirs to be enrolled ; yet the said protestation of theirs at that time took no 
great eflJect.i" 

Item, In the same parliament it was put iip by public petition, that ' the 
pope's collector should be commanded to void the realm within forty days, or 
else to be taken as the king's enemy ; and that every such collector, from 
henceforth, may be an EngUsliman, and sworn to execute the statutes made in 
this parliament." 

Moreover, in the same parliament, the year above-said of the king, the 
twenty-sixth of January, Master John Mandoure, clerk, was charged openly in 
parliament, that he should not pass or send over to Rome, or attempt or do 
any thing there touching the archdeaconry of Durham, in prejudice of the king, 
or of his laws, or of the party presented thereto by the king, on peril that 
might ensue. '2 

(1) Tit. 71. (2) Ibid. 78. (3) Ex anno 3. reg. Rich. II. (4) Tit. 44. 

(5) Tit. 46. ((i) Ex anno 9. ejusdem regis, tit. 4. (7) Tit. 36. (8) Ibid. 44. 

(a)Tit. 2ti. (10 An. 13. regis Rich. II., tit. 24. (11) Tit. 34. (12)Ibul. B. 


1'he year following, which was the thirteenth of this king's reign, it was Richard 
enacted first toiicliing the staplers, that, after the feast of Epipliany next ensu- ^^ 
ing, the staple should be removed from Calais into England, in such places as . p. 
are ccntained in the statute made in the twenty-seventli of Edward III., which ioqo' 

statute should be fully executed: and further, that every alien that bringeth ' 

merchandise into the realm, should find sufficient surety to buy and carry away Apainst 
commodities of the realm, to half the value of tlie said merchandise.' usury. 

Item, In the .same parliament petition was made. That against the horrible 
vice of usury, then termed shifts, practised as well by the clergy as laity, the 
order made by John Notte, late mayor of London, might be executed through- 
out the realm. - 

Moreover, in the fifteenth year of the reign of the aforesaid king, it was ac- 
corded : for that Sir William Brian, knight, had purchased from Rome a bull 
directed from the archbishops of Canterbury and York, to excommunicate such 
as had broken up his house, and had taken away divers letters, privileges, and 
charters ; the same bull, being read in the parliament house, was adjudged pre- 
judicial to the king's crown, and in derogation of the laws : for which he was, 
by the king, and assent of the lords, committed to the Tower, there to remain at 
the king's will and pleasure.^ 

In the said parliament also, William, archbishop of Canterbury, maketh his 
protestation in the open parliament, saying, that the pope ought not to ex- 
communicate any bishop, or to intermeddle, for or touching any presentment 
to an)' ecclesiastical dignity recorded in any of the king's courts. He ftu-ther 
protested, that the pope ought to make no translation to any bishopric within the 
realm against the king's will ; for that the same was to the destniction of the 
realm and crown of England, which hath always been so free, as the same hath 
had no earthly sovereign, but hath been subject to God only, in all things touching 
regalities, and to none other : which protestation he prayed might be entered.* 
In the seventeenth year of the reign of the king aforesaid, it was desired 
tl'.at remedy might be had against such religious persons as caused their vil- 
lains or underlings to marry free women inheritable, whereby the lands came 
to those religious men's hands by collusion.* 

Item, That suflicient persons might be presented to benefices, who may do 
well on the same, so that their stock, for want thereof, do not perish.* 

Item, That remedy might be had against the abbots of Colchester and Abing- 
don, who, in the towns of Colchester and Colnham, claim to have sanctuary.' 

To come to the parliament holden in the twentieth year of this king's reign. Here the 
we find, moreover, in the said rolls, how that the archbishops of Canterbiuy ^'^.'^^- 
and York, for themselves and the clergy of their provinces, declared to the king ca,i'ter-° 
in open parliament, that, forasmuch as they were sworn to the pope and see of bury go- 
Rome, if any thing were in the parliament attempted in restraint of the same, t'^py","' 
they would in no wise assent thereto, but verily withstand the same : which himself. 
their protestation they require to be enrolled.' 

Upon the petition of the begging friars, there at large it was enacted, that 
none of that order should pass over the seas without license of his sovereign, nor 
that he should take upon him any order of master of divinity, unless he were 
first apposed in his chapter provincial ; on pain to be put out of the king's 

Item, That the king's officers, for making arrests or attachments in church- 
yards, are therefore excommunicated ; whereof remedy was recpiired.'" 

In the twenty-first year of the same king's reign the parliament being holden 
at Westminster, we find how the commons, in full parliament, accused Thomas 
Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, for that he as chancellor procured, and as 
chief doer executed, tlie same commission, made traitorously in the tenth year 
of the king : and also, that he, the said archbishop, procured the duke of Glou- 
cester, and the earls of Arundel and Warwick, to encroach to themselves royal 
power, and to judge to death Simon de Burley and Sir John Berners, without 
the king's assent : whereupon the commons required that the same archbishop 
might rest under safe keeping : whereunto, for that the same impeachments 
touched so gi-eat a person, they would be advised.'* 

(1) Exan. 14. rcR. Ric. II., tit. 6. (2) Tit. 24. (3) Ibid. 29. 

(4) Vide articulum, tit. 29. (5) Ex an. 17.reg. Ric. II., tit. 33. (fi) Tit. 43. 

(7) Tit. 16. (8) Ex an. 20. reg. Ric. II., tit. 22. (9) Tit. 32. 

OO) Tit. 3fi. (11) Ex 21. an. reg. Ric. II., tit. 15. 


Hichard Item, The tweiity-fiftli day of September, tlie commons prayed the king lo 

//. give judf^ment against the said archbislioj), according to his deserts. The king 

answered, that privately the said archbishop had confessed to him, how he 

. q' mistook himself in the said commission, and therefore submitted himself to the 

kino-'s mercy ; wherefore the king, lords, and sir Thomas Percy, proctor for 

TlieArcii- the clero'y, adjudged the fact of the said archbishop to be treason, and himself 

bisliop .^ ti-aityj-^ and therefore it was ordered, that the said archbishop should be 

n'aitor. ^ banished, his temporalities seized, his lands and goods forfeited, as well in use 

as in possession.' 

^J'he king further prescribed, that the said archbishop should take his passinsr 
on Friday, within six weeks of Michaelmas, at Dover, towards the parts of 

Thus having hitherto sufficiently touched and comprehended such 

things as have happened in the reign of this king, necessary fur the 

church to know, by course of story we come noAv to the twenty- 

A.D.1399. second year of king Richard's reign, which Is a. d. 1399. In that 

Tiiede- y.^.^^^ happened the stranoje and also the lamentable deposing^ of this 

kint;' kmg Kichard 11. aioresaid, irom his kmgly sceptre : strange, tor tluat 

lychaid j^j^^ jj|.^ example hath not often been seen in seats royal : lamentable, 

for that it cannot but be grievous to any good man"'s heart, to see han 

either so to deserve, if he were justly deposed, or if he were unjustly 

deprived, to see the kingly title there not able to hold its right, where, 

by force, it is compelled to give place to might. 

As concerning the order and process of king Richard's deposing, 
for that it is not greatly pertinent to my argument, and also that it is 
sufficiently contained in Robert Fabian, and in the king's records, in 
the chronicle of St. Alban's, and in other histories at large, it were 
here tedious and superfluous to intermeddle with repeating thereof. 
Vices and Wbat Were the conditions and properties of this king, partly before 
ni[xe/in hath been touched ; in whom, as some good virtues may be noted, 
ttTchard. SO also somc viccs may seem to be mixed withal, but especially this, 
that he, starting out of the steps of his progenitors, ceased to take 
part with them who took part with the gospel. Whereupon it so fell, 
not by the blind wheel of fortune, but by the secret hand of Him who 
wiiatitis directeth all estates, that, as he first be